Which clinical history findings are characteristic of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL)?

Updated: Aug 20, 2020
  • Author: Shipra Gandhi, MBBS; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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The clinical manifestations of  diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) are diverse and depend on the site of disease involvement. These tumors have a rapid growth rate and present as masses, causing symptoms when they infiltrate tissues or obstruct organs. Although lymphadenopathy may initially be painless, pain in an enlarged lymph node or affected organ may be noted if the lymphomatous mass enlarges rapidly.

As with other types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), DLBCL can manifest with B symptoms: fever higher than 38°C, night sweats, and/or weight loss of more than 10% of body weight in the preceding 6 months. Generalized pruritus may also be present.

Other signs and symptoms can include the following:

  • Anorexia
  • Pedal edema - Caused by extensive pelvic lymphadenopathy
  • Fatigue
  • Chest discomfort or shortness of breath - Caused by mediastinal lymphadenopathy

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