Context.—

The diagnostic workup of lymphoma continues to evolve rapidly as experience and discovery led 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.

Objective.—

To develop an evidence-based guideline for the preanalytic phase of testing, focusing on specimen requirements for the diagnostic evaluation of lymphoma.

Design.—

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 literature to address key questions. Using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation approach, recommendations were derived based on the available evidence, strength of that evidence, and key judgements as defined in the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation Evidence to Decision framework.

Results.—

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.

Conclusions.—

Primary diagnosis and classification of lymphoma can be achieved with a variety of specimens. Application of the recommendations can guide decisions on specimen suitability, diagnostic capabilities, and correct use 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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Author notes

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Kroft, Sever, and Cheung served as cochairs of the ASCP, CAP, and ASH Expert Panel.

This guideline was developed through collaboration among the American Society for Clinical Pathology, the College of American Pathologists, and the American Society of Hematology, and has been jointly published by invitation and consent in the American Journal of Clinical Pathology and Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine. It has been edited in accordance with standards established at the Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine.

Authors' disclosures of potential conflicts of interest and author contributions are found in the Appendix at the end of this article.

Supplementary data