Background: Primary pulmonary non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is a very rare neoplasm. It is represented most commonly by marginal zone B-cell lymphoma of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) type. Although there have been a few reviews of this lymphoma, clinical features, diagnostic procedure, optimal management and prognostic factors have not been well defined. Methods: We reviewed the medical records of 24 patients who were pathologically and clinically diagnosed as primary pulmonary lymphoma between September 1995 and June 2003. Results: There were 13 patients with MALT lymphoma and two with MALT lymphoma accompanied by large B-cell lymphoma, seven with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and two with anaplastic large cell lymphoma. Half the patients were asymptomatic at presentation; 46% had respiratory symptoms and 16.7% had B-symptoms. Initial radiological findings were variable including nodules, masses, infiltrates or consolidation. The majority of patients (66.7%) needed surgical approaches (open thoracotomy or video-assisted thoracoscopy) for definite diagnosis. Bronchoscopy was performed in 83%, but only 30% showed a diagnostic yield. The 13 patients with MALT lymphoma were treated with a variety of modalities such as observation, surgery and single or combination chemotherapy, and combination chemotherapy was administered to 11 patients with non-MALT lymphoma regardless of surgery. The overall survival rate at 3 years for all 24 patients was 86% with a median follow-up of 32 months. Conclusion: Although this entity of lymphoma appears to have a good prognosis, further clinical experience and long-term follow-up are needed to identify prognostic factors.
- MALT lymphoma
- Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma