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Cardiol J. 2008;15(5):471-4.

Diffuse large B cell lymphoma presenting as a cardiac mass and odynophagia.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, USA.


Cardiac involvement as an initial presentation of malignant lymphoma is a rare occurrence. We describe the case of a 77-year-old man who had initially been diagnosed with a left atrial mass on an echocardiogram, presenting with progressive dyspnea, dysphagia, odynophagia and fevers. The cardiac mass had been managed as an outpatient with full anticoagulation for the suspicion of clot. On admission, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging revealed a large mediastinal mass invading the left atrium that originated from the oesophagus. A barium oesophagram revealed an apple core lesion involving the distal third of the oesophagus. A subsequent computed tomography scan demonstrated a large mediastinal soft tissue mass and paratracheal lymphadenopathy. A flexible upper endoscopy revealed an oesophageal mass that was approximately 10 cm in length, irregular at the margins, and with a very necrotic appearance. This was biopsied, revealing findings consistent with high grade diffuse large B cell lymphoma. This case illustrates lymphoma presenting with dyspnea, odynophagia and a left atrial mass. To our knowledge, there are no reported cases of diffuse large B cell lymphoma presenting as odynophagia and a cardiac mass.

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