What is the prevalence of thoracic involvement in non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)?

Updated: Mar 05, 2019
  • Author: Ali Nawaz Khan, MBBS, FRCS, FRCP, FRCR; Chief Editor: Eugene C Lin, MD  more...
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Lymphoma is a descriptive term for malignancy of lymphoreticular cells of specific lineage (T cells, B cells, and histiocytes), in which the malignant lymphocytes crowd the normal, healthy cells in bone marrow and cause the lymph nodes to enlarge (see the images below). This disease is divided into Hodgkin disease (HD) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Non-Hodgkin lymphomas account for 90% of all lymphomas, while HD constitutes the remaining 10%. [1] The thorax is involved in 85% of all cases of HD and 45% of all cases of NHL.

Unlike HD, NHL has many subtypes. Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common subtype, representing 25-30% of all lymphomas. DLBCL tends to be aggressive and often involves the lung. Extranodal marginal zone lymphoma (EMZL) of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) is another subtype that commonly affects the lung. [1, 2]  The patient's prognosis and treatment vary according to the type of NHL.

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