WHO classification of malignant lymphomas in Korea: Report of the third nationwide study

Jin Man Kim, Young Hyeh Ko, Seung Sook Lee, Jooryung Huh, Chang Suk Kang, Chul Woo Kim, Yun Kyung Kang, Jai Hyang Go, Min Kyung Kim, Wan Seop Kim, Yoon Jung Kim, Hyun Jung Kim, Hee Kyung Kim, Jong Hee Nam, Hyung Bae Moon, Chan Kum Park, Tae In Park, Young Ha Oh, Dong Wha Lee, Jong Sil LeeJuhie Lee, Hyekyung Lee, Sung Chul Lim, Kyu Yun Jang, Hee Kyung Chang, Yoon Kyung Jeon, Hye Ra Jung, Min Sun Cho, Hee Jeong Cha, Suk Jin Choi, Jae Ho Han, Sook Hee Hong, Insun Kim

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Background: The aim of study was to determine the relative frequency of malignant lymphoma according to World Health Organization (WHO) classification in Korea. Methods: A total of 3,998 cases diagnosed at 31 institutes between 2005 and 2006 were enrolled. Information including age, gender, pathologic diagnosis, site of involvement and immunophenotypes were obtained. Results: The relative frequency of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) was 95.4% and 4.6%, respectively. B-cell lymphomas accounted for 77.6% of all NHL, while T/natural killer (T/NK)-cell lymphomas accounted for 22.4%. The most frequent subtypes of NHL were diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (42.7%), extranodal marginal zone B-cell lymphoma (MZBCL) of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (19.0%), NK/T-cell lymphoma (6.3%) and peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL), unspecified (6.3%), in decreasing order. The relative frequency of HL was nodular sclerosis (47.4%), mixed cellularity (30.6%), and nodular lymphocyte predominant (12.1%) subtypes. Compared with a previous study in 1998, increase in gastric MZBCL and nodular sclerosis HL, and slight decrease of follicular lymphoma, PTCL, and NK/T-cell lymphoma were observed. Conclusions: Korea had lower rates of HL and follicular lymphoma, and higher rates of extranodal NHL, extranodal MZBCL, and NK/T-cell lymphoma of nasal type compared with Western countries. Changes in the relative frequency of lymphoma subtypes are likely ascribed to refined diagnostic criteria and a change in national health care policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-260
Number of pages7
JournalKorean Journal of Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Korea
  • Lymphoma
  • Malignant
  • WHO


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