The diagnostic workup of lymphoma continues to evolve rapidly as experience and discovery lead to the addition of new clinicopathologic entities and techniques to differentiate them. The optimal clinically effective, efficient, and cost-effective approach to diagnosis that is safe for patients can be elusive, in both community-based and academic practice. Studies suggest that there is variation in practice in both settings.
develop an evidence-based guideline for the preanalytic phase of testing, focusing on specimen requirements for the diagnostic evaluation of lymphoma.
The American Society for Clinical Pathology, the College of American Pathologists, and the American Society of Hematology convened a panel of experts in the laboratory workup of lymphoma to develop evidence-based recommendations. The panel conducted a systematic review of the literature to address key questions. Using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) approach, recommendations were derived based on the available evidence, the strength of that evidence, and key judgments as defined in the GRADE Evidence to Decision framework.
Thirteen guideline statements were established to optimize specimen selection, ancillary diagnostic testing, and appropriate follow-up for safe and accurate diagnosis of indolent and aggressive lymphoma.
Primary diagnosis and classification of lymphoma can be achieved with a variety of specimens. Application of the recommendations can guide decisions about specimen suitability, diagnostic capabilities, and correct utilization of ancillary testing. Disease prevalence in patient populations, availability of ancillary testing, and diagnostic goals should be incorporated into algorithms tailored to each practice environment.

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