Decision-making in diagnosis of bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma

Tasnim Lat, Juan F. Sanchez, Meghan K. McGraw, Parsa Hodjat, Heath D. White, Carl D. Boethel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue (BALT) lymphomas of the lung are uncommon, and diagnosis is often delayed due to the indolent clinical course. Often, adequate samples are difficult to obtain by bronchoscopy with transbronchial biopsy alone. This retrospective study reviewed the diagnosis and treatment of BALT lymphoma cases at our institution over the course of 19 years. Most patients were white, women, and >50 years old; the mean Charlson Comorbidity Index at the time of diagnosis was 6. Seven of 12 patients presented with solitary nodules or multiple nodules. For six cases, initial modalities were nondiagnostic; four subsequently underwent surgical biopsy, one underwent computed tomography–guided biopsy, and one underwent navigational bronchoscopy for final diagnosis of BALT lymphoma. Ultimately, 55% of cases were diagnosed with nonsurgical biopsy. One patient suffered a pneumothorax related to the initial diagnostic attempt. Ten patients received chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgery, and 11 of the 12 are still alive. Our data confirm the previously described indolent behavior of BALT lymphomas and the challenges related to diagnosis. While previous studies have suggested surgical biopsy as the primary modality for obtaining histopathology, navigational bronchoscopy could serve as a safer alternative.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-455
Number of pages5
JournalBaylor University Medical Center Proceedings
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021


  • Bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue
  • navigational bronchoscopy
  • percutaneous biopsy
  • surgical biopsy
  • transbronchial biopsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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