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Virchows Arch. 2000 Apr;436(4):393-7.

Nasal NK/T cell lymphoma presenting as transverse myelopathy.

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Department of Pathology, Kawasaki Medical School, Kurashiki, Japan.


A case of nasal NK/T cell lymphoma with central nervous system (CNS) involvement is reported. A 56-year-old man presented with eyelid edema and transverse myelopathy. Cerebrospinal fluid examination revealed atypical lymphoid cells with azurophilic granules, which were positive for CD2, CD8, and CD56, and negative for CD3 and CD5 by flow cytometry. Because a tumor mass was found involving the ethmoid and maxillary sinuses, CNS involvement was considered to have resulted from local invasion by the nasal lymphoma. In spite of intensive chemotherapy including intrathecal infusion, the patient died 6 months after the initial diagnosis. Autopsy revealed that lymphoma cells were positive for cytotoxic molecules, granzyme B and TIA-1, and EB virus-encoded RNA-1 (EBER-1), and they showed no rearrangement of TCR-beta, -gamma, or -delta genes, suggesting an NK-cell origin of the lymphoma cells. They showed an angiocentric and angiodestructive pattern in the subarachnoid space, focally extending to the cerebral cortex and cranial and spinal nerve roots. Marked demyelination was found in the lateral and posterior funiculi of the spinal cord. Thus, the pathogenesis of this spinal demyelination might be attributed to ischemia secondary to angiocentric and angiodestructive infiltration by lymphoma cells.

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