Primary central nervous system lymphoma can be histologically diagnosed after previous corticosteroid use: a pilot study to determine whether corticosteroids prevent the diagnosis of primary central nervous system lymphoma

Ann Neurol. 2008 May;63(5):662-7. doi: 10.1002/ana.21366.


The objective is to determine whether corticosteroid administration before biopsy prevents histopathological diagnosis of primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL). A retrospective review was performed of immunocompetent PCNSL patients from 1985 to 2005. A total of 109 patients was identified. Sixty-eight (63.6%) patients received corticosteroids before diagnosis. Thirteen patients (of 109; 12%) had undergone repeat brain biopsy to confirm PCNSL. These included 8 (of 68) patients who had received corticosteroids (12%), and 5 (of 39) who had not (13%) (p = 1.0). The majority of PCNSL patients who received corticosteroids before diagnosis did not experience significant radiographic change or require second biopsy for diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / administration & dosage*
  • Aged
  • Artifacts
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones