Marginal zone B-cell lymphoma of bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue: imaging findings in 21 patients

Chest. 2008 Feb;133(2):433-40. doi: 10.1378/chest.07-1956. Epub 2007 Dec 10.


Background: Few articles have been published on imaging findings of marginal zone B-cell lymphoma of bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue (BALT) of the lung. We present CT scan and 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET scan findings of the disease.

Methods: From March 1995 to February 2007, 21 pretreatment patients (male patients, 9; female patients, 12; age range, 35 to 76 years; mean [+/- SD] age, 54 +/- 10.4 years) were seen who had pathologic diagnoses of marginal zone B-cell lymphoma of BALT. After CT scans were reviewed searching for specific patterns and distribution of parenchymal lung lesions, patients were classified as having the following four different patterns: (1) single nodular or consolidative; (2) multiple nodular or areas of consolidation; (3) bronchiectasis and bronchiolitis; and (4) diffuse interstitial lung disease (DILD) patterns. In six patients, in whom PET/CT scanning was performed, the pattern and the extent of maximum standardized uptake values (mSUVs) of FDG uptake were described.

Results: A single nodular or consolidative pattern was observed in 7 of 21 (33%) patients, multiple nodular or areas of consolidation were observed in 9 patients (43%), bronchiectasis and bronchiolitis were observed in 3 patients (14%), and DILD was observed in 2 patients (10%). On PET scans (n = 6), lesions showed heterogeneous FDG uptake in five patients and homogeneous uptake in one patient, with mSUVs ranging from 2.2 to 6.3 (mean mSUV, 4.2 +/- 1.48).

Conclusions: Marginal zone B-cell lymphomas of BALT manifest diverse patterns of lung abnormality on CT scans, but single or multiple nodules or areas of consolidation are the main patterns that occur in a majority (76%) of patients. Most lesions show heterogeneous but identifiable FDG uptake on PET scans.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bronchi / pathology*
  • Bronchography
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell, Marginal Zone / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18