Neurolymphomatosis in Recrudescent Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma

Document Type : Case report


1 Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA USA

2 Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA USA

3 Division of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA USA


Neurolymphomatosis is an uncommon manifestation of lymphoma, often presenting with painful polyneuropathy or polyradiculopathy and concomitant distal extremity weakness. Differentiation from other etiologies resulting in similar neuropathic symptoms such as compressive or inflammatory pathologies can be difficult and often results in delayed diagnosis. Here we describe a case of neurolymphomatosis affecting a 64-year-old man with a history of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) in remission presenting with a right-sided foot drop following a gunshot wound. MRI at that time demonstrated thickening and enhancement of the cauda equina nerve roots. Over the course of the subsequent eight months, he developed left lower extremity sensory symptoms, left-sided foot drop and signs of upper motor neuron involvement, including left facial weakness, dysphonia, and dysphagia. 18F-FDG PET/CT revealed intensely avid left lumbosacral nerve roots, bilateral lower extremity and left upper extremity neurovascular bundles. Left sural nerve biopsies showed infiltration of DLBCL and confirmed neurolymphomatosis. We highlight the role of 18F-FDG PET/CT, with histological verification, for the diagnosis of an extended course of neurolymphomatosis occurring in the absence of typical painful neuropathy but with cranial and peripheral neuropathies.