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Strahlenther Onkol. 2008 Sep;184(9):484-7. doi: 10.1007/s00066-008-1840-4. Epub 2008 Sep 19.

Complete remission of a lymphoma-associated chylothorax by radiotherapy of the celiac trunk and thoracic duct.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

A chylothorax is a rare complication of mostly advanced malignant lymphomas. A case of a refractory chylothorax unresponsive to chemotherapy and successfully treated with radiotherapy is reported.

CASE REPORT:

A 45-year-old woman with recurrent stage IV low-grade follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and a progressive chylothorax is described. The CT scans showed bulky lymphadenopathy at the thoracic trunk but no detectable enlargement of mediastinal lymph nodes. After ineffective pretreatment including chemotherapy and chest drainage, fractionated radiotherapy to the celiac trunk (20.4 Gy) and the thoracic duct (15 Gy) was performed.

RESULT:

Already after 7.5 Gy a rapid decline of chylothorax was noted and the chest drain could be removed. A complete remission of the chylothorax could be achieved after 20.4 Gy. During a follow-up of 16 months no recurrence of chylothorax occurred. CT scans showed nearly complete remission of the lymphadenopathy of the celiac trunk 12 months after radiotherapy.

CONCLUSION:

Radiotherapy with limited total doses is an effective treatment option for lymphoma-associated chylothorax and should always be taken into consideration, especially in cases unresponsive to chemotherapy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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