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J Neurosurg. 1985 Apr;62(4):522-7.

Primary central nervous system lymphoma.


A retrospective analysis of 21 cases of primary central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma is reported. All patients presented with a solitary mass in the supratentorial region. None had previously received immunosuppressive therapy. Neuroradiological studies included technetium-99m-pertechnetate brain scanning in eight cases, cerebral arteriography in all 21 cases, and computerized tomography (CT) in 14 cases. The characteristic features were increased uptake in brain scans, mass effect in arteriograms, and marked contrast enhancement on CT scans. Abnormal tumor vessels were occasionally seen on arteriography, and subtraction films were usually required to appreciate tumor stain. All patients underwent craniotomy, and histological studies of the tumors showed a diffuse type of lymphoma in all cases. Immunoglobulin testing was performed in 19 cases and a monoclonal spike was verified in 10, suggesting a B cell origin. All patients were followed until their death except one who was still alive 12 months from onset of symptoms. Therapy included subtotal resection in all 21 cases, whole-brain irradiation in six cases, chemotherapy in two cases, and a combination of whole-brain irradiation and chemotherapy in nine cases. Three different forms of chemotherapy were used. The results suggest that chemotherapy is an important addition to subtotal resection and whole-brain irradiation in the treatment of primary CNS lymphoma.

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