Primary cerebral malignant non-Hodgkin's lymphomas: a retrospective clinical study

J Neurol. 1992 Mar;239(3):117-24. doi: 10.1007/BF00833908.


In this retrospective study a series of 54 patients (seen from 1982 to 1989) with sporadic primary cerebral malignant lymphomas (PCML), which were uniformly classified with the support of immunocytochemical data, is presented. The analysis shows that on CT PCML are shown as cirumscribed, homogeneous, contrast-enhanced multifocal (70%) or solitary (30%) mass lesions within the subcortical white matter; they were found mainly close to the ventricular system or the subarachnoid space. To prove the histological diagnosis and for the purposes of differential diagnosis, low-risk CT-stereotactic biopsy is necessary and is the method of choice. Immunomorphological techniques are valuable adjuncts to confirm the histological diagnosis of PCML. In the series presented these tumours have been predominantly classified as high-grade blastic B-cell lymphomas. For this reason, this type should be regarded as the prevalent variant of malignant brain lymphomas. The evaluation of possible prognostic factors suggests that age at admission and morphological features of regression are relevant determinants of survival time. A correlation between neuroradiological evidence of a decrease in tumour size, morphological signs of regression and glucocorticoid administration has been found. Thus, patients suspected of having PCML require rapid diagnosis prior to corticosteroid administration. PCML have been shown to be radioresponsive, but not curable. Because of the lack of uniformity in management of this rate brain neoplasm, the different treatment protocols are not comparable, and hence the optimum therapy has not been satisfactorily determined.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actuarial Analysis
  • Adolescent
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Biopsy
  • Brain Neoplasms / classification
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Brain Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / therapy
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Cranial Irradiation
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / classification
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / diagnosis
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / epidemiology*
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / pathology
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Multiple Primary / epidemiology
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stereotaxic Techniques
  • Survival Analysis
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Biomarkers, Tumor