Hodgkin’s And Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Lymphoma Maybe defined as the neoplastic proliferation of cells native to the lymph  nodes. Hodgkin’s And Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma both two are the primary malignant tumors of lymph nodes. They are called lymphomas because they originate in white blood cells called lymphocytes and its precursors and histiocytes.

Hodgkin’s  Lymphoma (HL)

Hodgkin’s lymphoma formerly known as Hodgkin’s disease is a cancer of the lymphatic system  originating from white blood cells called lymphocytes.  It was named after Thomas Hodgkin, who first described abnormalities in the lymph system in 1832. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is most often diagnosed in people between the ages of 15 to 35. It is also seen to occur in peopleover55 years old. Males are more likely to develop Hodgkin’s lymphoma than female. Patients with a history of infectious mononucleosis because of Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) may have an increased risk of Hodgkin’s  Lymphoma.


Patients with Hodgkin’s disease most commonly present with painless lymphadenopathy (cervical and supraclavicular). There may be history of Fever and chills, Night sweats, Itchy skin, Unexplained weight loss- as much as 10% of the patient’s total body mass in six months or less, Splenomegaly, Hepatomegaly or Hepatosplenomegaly.

In histopathological examination multinucleated Reed–Sternberg giant cells (RS cells) are found which is the hallmark of Hodgkin’s  Lymphoma.

Reed-Sternberg giant cell
Hodgkin lymphoma infiltration of the bone marrow. A Reed-Sternberg cell is highlighted by the black arrow.

Hodgkin’s lymphoma may be treated with radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL)

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is a type of cancer that originates in the lymphatic system. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is developed from lymphocytes- it may be from B-cell or T-cell. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma can occur at any age, but the risk increases with age. Older adults (age 60 and over) are more susceptible to non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The causative agents of  Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma includes- Epstein-Barr virus, Human T-cell leukemia virus , Hepatitis C virus, HIV infection, Helicobacter pylori. Chemical exposure and medical treatments like radiation therapy and chemotherapy are also the cause of  Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Patients with  Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma present with Swollen painless lymph nodes in the neck armpits, or groin, Abdominal pain, Chest pain, coughing or trouble breathing, Fatigue, Fever, Night sweats, Weight loss.

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma can be treated with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, stem cell transplant and biological therapy.

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Or Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Which One is More Dangerous?

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is much more common than Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Hodgkin’s Disease is one of the most curable cancers. Where the cure rate of Hodgkin’s  Lymphoma between 60 and 90%,  the prognosis for non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is variable. It can range from excellent to poor depending on the grade of tumor involved.

Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
Andy Whitfield, star of the cable show “Spartacus: Blood and Sand,” died Sept. 11 of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at the age of 39.

Basic Differences Between Hodgkin’s And Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma


Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

1. Prevalence


Steadily increasing

2. Age Incidence

Most commonly young adults (15-35)

Increase with age (60 and over)

3. Cell Of Origin

B- cell

B-cell or T-cell

4. Lymph node involvement  

Single axial group of lymph nodes

Multiple Peripheral lymph nodes

5. Mode Of Spread



6. Extra nodal involvement



7. Reed-Strenberg giant cell


Absent Usually

8. Mesenteric nodes & Waldeyer ring

Rarely involved

Commonly involved

9. Leukaemic transformation



10. Prognosis

Curable (60-85%)



Davidson’s Medicine

Robbin’s Pathology

Leave a Comment