RECENT advances in the understanding of immunology have led to more precise classification of the non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHLs).1 However, this precision has left the internist faced with a bewildering variety of classification schemes that may have engendered as much confusion as clarification. In this review we have attempted to present the development of current nosology in a manner that will help incorporate recent classifications into daily use.
The early classification of lymphomas into giant-follicle lymphoma, lymphosarcoma, and reticulum cell sarcoma2 did not accurately describe the wide variation in histological and clinical manifestations of the lymphoproliferative diseases. Therefore, there was a need for a better scheme of classification.
CLASSIFICATION ACCORDING TO HISTOLOGY
A major advance in the classification of lymphomas was proposed by Rappaport and co-workers in 19561 (Table 1). This scheme divided NHLs based on the architectural characteristics of the lymph node and the cytological characteristics of the