Lymphomatoid granulomatosis masquerading as interstitial pneumonia in a 66-year-old man: A case report and review of literature

Ashima Makol, Kalyan Kosuri, Deimante Tamkus, Wanderley De M Calaca, Howard T. Chang

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9 Scopus citations


Lymphomatoid granulomatosis (LG) is a rare, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated systemic angiodestructive lymphoproliferative disorder that may progress to a diffuse large B cell lymphoma. Pulmonary involvement may mimic other more common lung pathologies including pneumonias. Therapeutic standards have not been established for LG, but rituximab, interferon-2b (INF-2b), and chemotherapy have shown to improve symptoms and long term prognosis. We report a case of rapid respiratory deterioration in a 66-year-old man with clinical presentation, chest radiography, pulmonary function testing and high resolution computed tomography (HRCT) findings consistent with idiopathic interstitial pneumonia, but very poor response to antibiotics and low dose steroids. Lung biopsy showed histopathology consistent with LG that was confirmed by a positive in situ hybridization for Epstein - Barr virus encoded RNA (EBER). The patient was treated with rituximab and combination chemotherapy and showed significant initial clinical improvement with gradual resolution of abnormal findings on imaging. However, the patient developed pancytopenia as a complication of chemotherapy and died secondary to septic shock and renal failure that were refractory to medical management. Autopsy showed diffuse alveolar damage but no evidence of any residual LG within the lungs. This case demonstrates that an open lung biopsy or video-assisted thoracoscopic surgical (VATS) biopsy is often necessary to rule out the presence of LG in order to determine the appropriate therapeutic strategy early in the course of illness to improve prognosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number39
JournalJournal of Hematology and Oncology
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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