Background: Intravascular lymphomatosis (IL) is a systemic neoplasm that often involves the nervous system, inducing progressive neurologic deficits in the setting of undiagnosed or quiescent extranodal non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Methods: The clinical and pathologic files of the Massachusetts General Hospital and New York University Medical Center and the English language literature were reviewed to identify all reports of intravascular lymphomatosis (angioendotheliomatosis) or other examples of a diffuse proliferation of neoplastic cells filling capillaries, arterioles, and venules.
Results: The authors report seven patients with IL and note 114 patients reported in the literature. Almost two-thirds (63%) of patients had neurologic manifestations, without abnormalities on bone marrow biopsy, chest and abdominal tomographic examinations for adenopathy, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis. All patients had one or more of four syndromes, each reflecting a vascular occlusive process: progressive, multifocal cerebrovascular events; paraparesis, pain, and incontinence; a subacute encephalopathy; and peripheral or cranial neuropathies.
Conclusions: The unexplained presence of any one or more of these neurologic syndromes should alert the physician to the possible presence of this disease.