What is the role of chest radiography in the workup of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)?

Updated: Feb 25, 2021
  • Author: Sanjay Vinjamaram, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

A chest radiograph yields positive information in approximately one fourth of patients with NHLs. It may identify hilar or mediastinal adenopathy, pleural or pericardial effusions, and parenchymal involvement. The chest radiograph may demonstrate a bulky mediastinal mass, which is associated with primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma or lymphoblastic lymphoma. See the images below.

Posteroanterior (PA) chest radiograph in a man wit Posteroanterior (PA) chest radiograph in a man with thoracic non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) shows mediastinal widening due to grossly enlarged right paratracheal and left paratracheal nodes.
Posteroanterior (PA) chest radiograph in a 16-year Posteroanterior (PA) chest radiograph in a 16-year-old male adolescent with thoracic non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) shows subtle enlargement of the lower paratracheal lymph nodes.
Posteroanterior (PA) chest radiograph shows a larg Posteroanterior (PA) chest radiograph shows a large mass in the right parahilar region extending into the right upper and middle zones, with silhouetting of the right pulmonary artery. Smaller mass is seen in the periphery of the right lower zone. The masses did not respond to a trial of antibiotics. Core-needle biopsy of the larger lesion revealed NHL deposits in the lung.

Obtain an upper GI series with small bowel follow-through in patients with head and neck involvement (eg, tonsil, base of tongue, nasopharynx, Waldeyer ring) and those with a GI primary lesion.


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