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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1996 Mar;120(3):254-60.

Stage IE non-Hodgkin's lymphoma involving the dura: A clinicopathologic study of five cases.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Brown University School of Medicine, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.



Non-Hodgkin's lymphomas rarely present as a localized mass involving the dura. In this report we describe the clinical, histologic, and immunohistochemical features of five cases of stage IE non-Hodgkin's lymphoma involving the dura.


Four women and one man, 36 to 67 years of age (median 50.6 years).


Myelography and magnetic resonance imaging scans revealed discrete expansile masses involving the dura of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar regions of the spinal cord and the frontal lobe of the brain. Histologically, the tumors were classified in the Working Formulation as small lymphocytic (2), diffuse large cell (2), and large cell immunoblastic (1) (anaplastic large cell lymphoma). Four tumors were of B-cell lineage and the anaplastic large-cell lymphoma was of T-cell lineage. The two small lymphocytic neoplasms had immunoglobulin heavy-chain gene rearrangements as shown by either Southern blot hybridization or the polymerase chain reaction. Four patients underwent decompression laminectomy; three received spinal radiation; two received chemotherapy (one intrathecal, one systemic) for lymphocytosis of the cerebrospinal fluid. The dural mass overlying the frontal lobe was excised and focally irradiated. Clinical follow-up was available for all patients. Four patients were alive 12 to 40 months after diagnosis and showed no evidence of recurrent or disseminated disease. The patient with anaplastic large-cell lymphoma died 10 days after laminectomy, secondary to pulmonary thromboemboli.


We conclude that non-Hodgkin's lymphomas of varied histologic types and of either B- or T-cell lineage may rarely present as a stage IE dural mass. These lesions appear to have a good initial response to treatment; however, longer clinical follow-up is necessary to assess the incidence of relapse and final outcome.

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