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Follicular Lymphoma : CD21

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In addition to centrocytes and centroblasts, the neoplastic follicles also contain follicular dendritic cells (FDCs). Nodular aggregates of FDCs outline the neoplastic follicles. Their nuclei are similar in size to centroblast nuclei and contain small nucleoli. FDCs are difficult to identify on routine H&E stains but can be nicely highlighted with CD21 (shown here) or CD23 immunostains.

In diffuse areas of follicular lymphomas, FDCs are absent; this feature may be useful in distinguishing diffuse follicular lymphoma from mantle cell or marginal zone lymphomas, in which aggregates of FDCs are present. Image copyright: pathorama.ch

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