Burkitt's lymphoma classification

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Sowminya Arikapudi, M.B,B.S. [2]


Burkitt's lymphoma may be classified according to the World Health Organization (WHO) classification into 3 clinical variants. The clinical variants are endemic Burkitt's lymphoma, sporadic Burkitt's lymphoma, and immunodeficiency-associated Burkitt's lymphoma.


Burkitt's lymphoma may be classified according to WHO classification into 3 clinical variants:

  • Endemic Burkitt's lymphoma [1]
  • Sporadic Burkitt's lymphoma[2]
  • Immunodeficiency-associated Burkitt's lymphoma[3]

It is almost impossible to differentiate these three clinical variants based on histology (i.e. microscopic appearance) or immunophenotype.

Classification Based on The Geographic Distribution and Clinical Presentation
Name Description
Endemic Burkitt's lymphoma

(African Burkitt's lymphoma)

Sporadic Burkitt's lymphoma

(Non-African or Non-endemic Burkitt's lymphoma)

Immunodeficiency-associated Burkitt's lymphoma
  • The presentation of patients with immunodeficiency-related Burkitt's lymphoma is often accompanied by signs or symptoms related to the underlying immunodeficiency which can be the following:
  • Immunodeficiency-related cases frequently often involve lymph nodes, bone marrow, and CNS


  1. Tao Q, Robertson KD, Manns A, Hildesheim A, Ambinder RF (1998). "Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in endemic Burkitt's lymphoma: molecular analysis of primary tumor tissue". Blood. 91 (4): 1373–81. PMID 9454768.
  2. Ng JY, Thompson RJ, Lam A, Nigam S (2018). "Sporadic Burkitt's lymphoma masquerading as an intussuscepted Meckel's diverticulum in a 9-year-old child". BMJ Case Rep. 2018. doi:10.1136/bcr-2018-224333. PMID 30042102.
  3. Linke-Serinsöz E, Fend F, Quintanilla-Martinez L (2017). "Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) related lymphomas, pathology view point". Semin Diagn Pathol. 34 (4): 352–363. doi:10.1053/j.semdp.2017.04.003. PMID 28506687.

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