Muscle lymphoma

Last revised by Henry Knipe on 6 Jan 2022

Muscle lymphoma is a rare manifestation of lymphoma.

Muscle lymphoma is rare, representing <2% of all lymphomas. The average age of presentation is 70 years 1.

Focal swelling and/or pain along with B-type symptoms 2. Any muscle can be involved but most commonly 1,2:

  • thigh
  • trunk
  • upper limb
  • leg

Muscle lymphoma is typically the non-Hodgkin type. It can manifest in two ways 2:

  • metastatic spread from primary disease (e.g. nodal, osseous)
  • primary lesion (i.e. primary muscle lymphoma), which is less common

Muscle enlargement with focal mass or diffuse abnormal signal 1,2:

  • T1: iso- or hyperintense to normal muscle
  • T2: intermediate signal intensity to fat and muscle
  • Gad (C+): diffuse (more common), thick peripheral and/or septal marginal enhancement

Other soft tissue tumors should be considered 4:

Infection (pyomyositis) should also be considered. 

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: secondary from osseous lymphoma
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  • Case 2: left psoas
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