Intravascular lymphomatosis: A clinicopathologic study of 10 cases and assessment of response to chemotherapy

Joseph A. DiGiuseppe, William G. Nelson, Eric J. Seifter, John K. Boitnott, Risa B. Mann

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270 Scopus citations


Purpose: We report a clinicopathologic study of 10 cases of intravascular lymphomatosis (IVL) seen at a single institution, and assess the response to chemotherapy in these patients, as well as those collected from a literature review. Patients and Methods: The clinical, pathologic, and immunophenotypic features of 10 cases of IVL diagnosed at the Johns Hopkins Hospital since 1977 were studied. Follow-up information was obtained in each case by consultation with the treating physician. In addition, cases of IVL reported previously in which patients were treated with chemotherapy and for which follow-up data were available at the time of publication were reviewed. Results: In the present series of 10 cases, the most common clinical features were fever of unknown origin (FUO), mental status changes, and rash. Diagnostic specimens were obtained from a variety of sources, including brain, skin, prostate, liver, kidney, and gallbladder. All of the four patients treated with combination chemotherapy are alive and two have achieved long-term survival (48 and 45 months, respectively); the remaining two are alive and in complete remission (CR) after short follow-up duration of 6 months. Among 35 patients reported in the literature who received chemotherapy (including four from this series), 43% attained a CR and were free of disease at the time of publication. None of the three patients in our series who received localized therapy (surgery with or without radiation therapy) is alive (mean survival duration, 9 months). For the three patients diagnosed at postmortem examination, the mean interval between onset of symptoms and death was 3 months, and disease was widespread. Conclusion: These findings suggest that IVL represents a high-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) with a propensity for systemic dissemination, and that CR and long-term survival may result in patients treated with aggressive combination chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2573-2579
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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