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Can J Cardiol. 2009 Jun;25(6):e210-2.

Primary cardiac diffuse large B cell lymphoma presenting with superior vena cava syndrome.

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Department of Medicine, Queen's University, Kingston, Canada.


Primary cardiac lymphomas are rare extranodal lymphomas that should be distinguished from secondary cardiac involvement by disseminated non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Cardiac lymphomas often mimic other cardiac neoplasms, including myxomas and angiosarcomas, and often require multimodality cardiac imaging, in combination with endomyocardial biopsy, excisional biopsy or pericardial fluid cytology, to establish a definitive diagnosis. A 60-year-old immunocompetent man who presented with superior vena cava syndrome secondary to a right atrial, primary cardiac diffuse large B cell lymphoma (non-Hodgkin's lymphoma) is described in the present article. The patient had no clinical evidence of disseminated lymphoma and was successfully treated with prompt surgical excision of his atrial mass, followed by anthracycline-based chemotherapy. The patient required multi-modality cardiac imaging to accurately identify and plan surgical excision of his cardiac lymphoma. The therapeutic management and clinical and radio-logical features of primary cardiac lymphoma are reviewed.

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