Diagnosis and management of primary spinal epidural non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

Mark K. Lyons, Brian P. O'Neill, Paul J. Kurtin, W. Richard Marsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe the diagnosis, management, and outcome in 10 patients with histologically confirmed primary spinal epidural non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Material and Methods: We review the findings in a cohort of seven men and three women in whom this tumor was diagnosed between January 1979 and January 1993 and discuss the prognostic differences between primary and secondary spinal lymphomas. Results: All patients (median age at diagnosis, 70 years) underwent a decompressive laminectomy, subtotal tumor resection, and spinal irradiation (median dose, 3,800 cGy). Nine of 10 tumors were of B- cell origin. Six patients are alive and well. In four patients, recurrent disease developed from 15 to 62 months after the original diagnosis; of these, one has died. The median duration of survival of all patients was 42 months; of those living more than 24 months after diagnosis, the median duration of survival was 80 months. Conclusion: A rapidly progressive spinal cord or cauda equina syndrome with neuroimaging findings consistent with an extradural compressive lesion should alert caregivers to the possibility of spinal epidural lymphoma. Although the prognosis for patients with secondary spinal epidural non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is often poor, primary spinal epidural non-Hodgkin's lymphoma can be associated with a favorable outcome if diagnosed and treated early.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)453-457
Number of pages5
JournalMayo Clinic proceedings
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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