The lymph nodes are effaced by a proliferation of ReedSternberg cells and mononuclear Hodgkin variants that is accompanied by an often extensive benign, inflammatory infiltrate. Reed-Sternberg cells are defined as large cells with abundant cytoplasm, and at least two distinct nuclear lobes, each of which contain a prominent eosinophilic nucleolus. The mononuclear Hodgkin variants are large cells with a usually round nucleus and prominent nucleolus. The Reed-Sternberg and Hodgkin cells generally constitute only a small minority of the cells present in histologic sections, and in some cases the malignant cells may be quite rare. In modern practice, a definitive diagnosis of HL cannot be established by morphologic features alone, but requires confirmation by immunohistochemistry.

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