The 4th edition of the World Health Organization classification of tumors of hematopoietic and lymphoid tissues introduces many new items to the classification scheme of the so-called indolent B cell lymphomas. New proposed entities, such as splenic B cell lymphoma/leukemia, unclassifiable, splenic diffuse red pulp small B cell lymphoma, hairy cell leukemia variant, pediatric follicular lymphoma, and pediatric marginal zone lymphoma have been coined, and some definitions of established diseases, such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia or Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia have been revised. One aspect of major importance is the recent description of small clonal B cell populations, in part with a CLL phenotype, and their relationship to B-CLL. Some new subtypes or variants of follicular lymphoma with distinct clinicopathologic and/or molecular genetic characteristics have been described, including primary follicular lymphomas of the duodenum and pediatric follicular lymphomas. Furthermore, the impact of some probably early, or precursor lesions, such as follicular lymphoma in situ is discussed. Overall, we succinctly discuss the essential elements of the revisions made in the updated classification, and we identify potential opportunities for refinement of new or provisional categories in subsequent classifications.
Keywords: WHO classification, Malignant lymphoma, Indolent, Commentary, Low grade