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J Neurooncol. 2019 Jun 13. doi: 10.1007/s11060-019-03208-w. [Epub ahead of print]

Prognostic markers for immunodeficiency-associated primary central nervous system lymphoma.

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Department of Neurology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, USA.
Department of Pathology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, USA.
Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, USA.
Department of Neurology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, USA.
Department of Neurosurgery, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, USA.
Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Section of Neuro-Oncology, Yale School of Medicine, Yale Cancer Center, 333 Cedar Street, New Haven, CT, 06510, USA.



Immunodeficiency is a major risk factor for primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL), but data on the disease in immunocompromised hosts are scarce. We aimed to define clinical and imaging features and determine prognostic factors for immunodeficiency-associated PCNSL.


All PCNSL cases seen at Yale-New Haven Hospital between 2002 and 2017 were retrospectively screened for immunodeficiency. For patients with immunosuppression, biopsies were evaluated and clinical data were collected. Predictors of survival were identified using Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and log-rank test. p values < 0.05 were considered significant.


23 patients with immunodeficiencies were identified: eleven on immunosuppressants after solid organ transplantation, seven with human immunodeficiency virus infection, and five on immunosuppressive treatment due to various autoimmune disorders. PCNSL cases were largely Epstein-Barr-Virus positive (78%), histologically classified as diffuse large B cell lymphomas (87%), and showed peripheral contrast enhancement (81%) and corresponding heterogeneous diffusion-weighted imaging patterns (DWI) on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (71%). Median overall survival was 31 months. Age > 60 years at diagnosis (p < 0.01), peripheral enhancement of the mass on MRI (p = 0.04), heterogeneous DWI patterns (p = 0.04), and clonal immunoglobulin heavy chain gene rearrangement (IgHR) (p = 0.03) were found to be negative prognostic markers.


Immunodeficiency-associated PCNSL presents with similar clinical, pathological and imaging features. Age > 60 years, clonal IgHR, heterogeneous DWI pattern and peripheral enhancement on MRI may serve as predictors of less favorable outcome.


Autoimmune diseases; Diffusion-weighted imaging; Gene rearrangement; HIV; Immunosuppression; Organ transplantation; Primary central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma


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