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Neuroradiology. 2001 Jan;43(1):29-35.

Primary central nervous system lymphoma in AIDS: a wider spectrum of CT and MRI findings.

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Department of Radiology, University of Vienna, Austria.


Diagnosis of primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL) in patients with AIDS based on radiological findings is still a challenging problem. Our purpose was to review the CT and MRI findings in PCNSL in our patients with AIDS and compare them with those reported in the literature. CT and MRI of 28 patients with AIDS and pathologically confirmed PCNSL were analysed retrospectively for the number of lesions, their site, size, density, signal intensity, contrast enhancement, oedema and mass effect. We found 82 lesions. On CT 45 lesions were found in 22 patients, whereas MRI revealed 66 in 20 patients. The lymphoma was solitary in 20 patients (29 %) and multiple in 20 (71%). Spontaneous haemorrhage was seen in 7 patients. Contrast-enhanced MRI showed no enhancement in 27.3 % (18/66) of the lesions. In one patient diffuse signal abnormalities in the white matter were seen on T2-weighted images. Our findings suggest that the previously described spectrum imaging characteristics of PCNSL has widened. Neuroradiologists should be aware of the variable appearance in patients with AIDS. Spontaneous haemorrhage, a non-enhancing lesion, or diffuse white matter changes do not exclude lymphoma in an immunocompromised patient.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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