What is the role of serum chemistries in the diagnostic workup for Burkitt lymphoma/Burkitt-like lymphoma (BL/BLL)?

Updated: Dec 20, 2019
  • Author: Ali H Kanbar, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Electrolyte imbalances occur as a result of renal infiltration with lymphoma. The rapid turnover of the Burkitt lymphoma (BL) cells may cause primary tumor lysis, which is characterized by hyperkalemia, hyperphosphatemia, hyperuricemia, and hypocalcemia—with resultant uric acid nephropathy and oliguric renal failure.

Serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels are almost always elevated, often to extreme levels. The diagnosis of Burkitt lymphoma (BL) should be considered in any patient with a marked elevation of LDH. This test is also a useful indicator of the patient's response to treatment and can be used as an early nonspecific indicator of disease relapse.

Liver function test results, if abnormal, may be indicative of visceral involvement with lymphoma.

Serum uric acid levels are often high and reflect the high-grade nature of the disease and correlate with the probability of tumor lysis syndrome with initiation of cytotoxic therapy.

Beta2 microglobulin is a predictor of the extent of disease and is used as a surrogate marker for early relapse.

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