What is the role of MRI 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

Obtain an MRI of the brain and spinal cord of patients who are suspected of having primary CNS lymphoma, lymphomatous meningitis, paraspinal lymphoma, or vertebral body involvement by lymphoma. An MRI scan can also be performed to identify focal areas of marrow involvement in those patients suspected to have bone marrow involvement but in whom random bone marrow biopsy findings have been negative. See the images below.

T1-weighted coronal MRI of the thorax in a 55-year T1-weighted coronal MRI of the thorax in a 55-year-old woman with lower dorsal pain. Note the signal-intensity changes in the body of D12; these are associated with a right-sided, large, paravertebral soft-tissue mass involving the psoas muscle. Biopsy confirmed non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).
T1-weighted coronal MRI of the thorax in a 55-year T1-weighted coronal MRI of the thorax in a 55-year-old woman with lower dorsal pain (same patient as in the previous image). Note the signal-intensity changes in the body of D12; these are associated with a right-sided, large, paravertebral soft-tissue mass involving the psoas muscle. Biopsy confirmed non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).

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