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Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma

Contributors: Nina Haghi MD, Paritosh Prasad MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is a mature neoplasm of large B-lymphoid cells and is the most common subtype of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), constituting 25%-35% of adult NHLs.

DLBCL is more frequent in older individuals (median age is 64 years) and shows a slightly male predominance. Patients with a history of solid organ transplant, immunodeficiency, B-cell-activating autoimmune disorders (ie, systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjögren syndrome, celiac disease), or occupational exposure to agricultural pesticides or ionizing radiation may be at increased risk.

There are several subtypes of DLBCL (as classified by the World Health Organization [WHO]), each of which is characterized by distinct morphology, location, and/or molecular signature. They include:
  • Primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma
  • T cell / histiocyte-rich large B-cell lymphoma
  • Intravascular large B-cell lymphoma
  • Lymphomatous granulomatosis
  • Primary DLBCL of the central nervous system
  • Primary cutaneous DLBCL, leg type
  • DLBCL associated with chronic inflammation
Other lymphomas share some features with DLBCL and should be considered in the differential diagnosis. These include high grade B-cell lymphoma with MYC and BCL2 and/or BCL6 rearrangements, high grade B-cell lymphoma, not otherwise specified, Burkitt-like lymphoma, and B-cell lymphoma, unclassifiable, with features intermediate between DLBCL and classical Hodgkin lymphoma (also referred to as gray-zone lymphoma).

Patients with DLBCL may present with enlarging lymph nodes (usually in the neck or abdomen, but may be anywhere) or with extranodal disease in the form of a mass. The most common extranodal site for DLBCL to present is the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Patients may present with B symptoms (ie, fever, weight loss, night sweats), but asymptomatic presentations can occur. Vague, nonspecific symptoms may also occur, as is the case with the rare intravascular B-cell lymphoma. Another uncommon subtype is primary cutaneous DLBCL, leg type. It usually presents as red or violaceous plaques on the lower leg but can occur at any body location. The lesions may quickly develop into tumors that ulcerate.


C83.30 – Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, unspecified site

109969005 – Diffuse non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, large cell

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Below is a list of drugs with literature evidence indicating an adverse association with this diagnosis. The list is continually updated through ongoing research and new medication approvals. Click on Citations to sort by number of citations or click on Medication to sort the medications alphabetically.

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Last Reviewed:01/25/2023
Last Updated:02/08/2023
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Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
A medical illustration showing key findings of Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma : Fatigue, Fever, Night sweats, Lymphadenopathy
Copyright © 2023 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.