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Lymphoma is a collective term for chronic lymph node enlargement or lymph node swelling and tumors of the lymph tissue.

Benign lymphomas

Classification according to ICD-10
A00-B99 Certain infectious and parasitic diseases
I88 Nonspecific lymphadenitis
ICD-10 online (WHO version 2019)

A benign ( benign ) enlargement of the lymph nodes occurs in infectious diseases due to inflammation as an expression of their defensive activity ( lymphadenitis ). Causes can be harmless diseases such as colds or inflammatory processes of the teeth as well as more serious viral infections ( mononucleosis , HIV infection). Bacterial diseases such as Borrelia infection ( Borreliosis ) as a result of a tick bite or (lymph node) tuberculosis can also be a cause . A parasite- based lymph node disease is toxoplasmosis . Benign lymphomas usually subside after the inflammation has healed, but they can also lead to abscesses and under certain circumstances break through the skin to the outside or - much more dangerously - into the surrounding tissue.

In the case of benign enlargements, one speaks of a pseudolymphoma (“false” or “false” lymphoma), which serves to differentiate it from the expression lymphoma in the sense of a systemic malignant disease of the lymphatic system.

Malignant lymphomas

Classification according to ICD-10
C81 Hodgkin's disease (lymphogranulomatosis)
C82 Follicular (nodular) non-Hodgkin lymphoma
C83 Diffuse non-Hodgkin lymphoma
C84 Peripheral and cutaneous T-cell lymphomas
C85 Other and unspecified types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma
ICD-10 online (WHO version 2019)

Malignant lymphomas are malignant neoplasm ( neoplasia ) incurred by Monoclonal growth of lymphatic cells. Lymphatic cells are found in lymph nodes , tonsils , spleen and in the bone marrow (stem cells). A distinction is made between B-lymphocytes , T-lymphocytes and the cells of the RHS ( reticulohistiocytic system ).

Malignant lymphomas mainly affect older people, the age peak is in the 6th decade of life. But there are also malignant lymphomas that occur in childhood.

The WHO classification distinguishes between Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma . The latter are divided into B-cell lymphomas and T-cell lymphomas . The precise classification and progression of the disease determine the prognosis, which can be either very good or not very promising.


  • Wolfgang Hiddemann , Martin Dreyling , Harald Stein (eds.): Lymphoma. New findings and therapy strategies. Georg Thieme, Stuttgart et al. 2005, ISBN 3-13-138091-8 .
  • Tumor Center Munich, Martin Dreyling (Ed.): Malignant Lymphoma. Recommendations for diagnosis, therapy and follow-up care. 10th, revised edition. W. Zuckschwerdt, Munich 2015, ISBN 978-3-86371-185-6 .