Neurolymphomatosis: a case series of clinical manifestations, treatments, and outcomes

Carlos Kamiya-Matsuoka, Sheetal Shroff, Kasey Gildersleeve, Bahram Hormozdi, John T Manning, Karin H Woodman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Neurolymphomatosis (NL) is a rare clinical entity characterized by infiltration of malignant lymphocytes into the peripheral nervous system. We analyzed the clinicoradiological features, treatments, and outcomes in NL patients.

METHODS: We identified six patients with NL seen at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center from 01/2010 to 10/2012. We extracted clinical presentations, imagings, CSF cytology, and electrodiagnostic studies from medical records. One patient had a nerve biopsy. We defined therapy response as clinical improvement of neurological deficits.

FINDINGS: The mean age at onset was 57.1 years. Most were predominantly men with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Positron emission tomography (PET) was positive in five patients. Nerve conduction demonstrated mononeuritis multiplex, plexopathy, demyelination, and axonal polyradiculoneuropathy, whereas electromyography was nonspecific. All patients received systemic chemotherapy, four intrathecal chemotherapy, and three intravenous immunoglobulin, plasma exchange or both. One patient who received intravenous immunoglobulin showed mild neurological improvement. Two patients responded, and the median overall survival was 15 months.

CONCLUSIONS: NL is an increasingly recognized complication of NHL and leukemia. A high clinical suspicion is necessary for correct diagnosis. In the present series, patients with leukemia had mononeuritis multiplex, whereas those with lymphoma had plexopathy. Electrodiagnosis and PET scans were useful diagnostic tools. No factors correlated with poorer prognosis. International collaborative studies will help to better determine the risk factors of NL, response to treatment and outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-8
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Aug 15 2014


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Birds
  • Brachial Plexus
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Marek Disease
  • Middle Aged
  • Plasma Exchange
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Journal Article


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