Primary cardiac lymphoma is a rare occurrence, representing only 10% of primary malignant cardiac tumours (1% of all primary cardiac tumours).
Secondary involvement of the heart by disseminated lymphoma (diffuse large B-cell) is more common than primary cardiac lymphoma, but is still a rare occurrence.
Both forms are much more common in patients with HIV/AIDS.
Cardiac lymphoma may present with dyspnoea, oedema, or arrhythmia. Pericardial effusion may give rise to tamponade.
- may detect an intracavitary mass or pericardial effusion
- multiple circumscribed polypoid masses or an ill-defined infiltrative lesion
- more common in right atrium
- frequently associated with pericardial effusion
- less likely to show necrosis than a cardiac sarcoma
- heterogeneous contrast enhancement, isoattenuating or hypoattenuating relative to myocardium
- atrial, particularly right atrial predominant location
- variable signal intensity and contrast enhancement
Treatment and prognosis
Prognosis is poor with a median survival of 7 months after diagnosis.
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