Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Presenting as a Large Chest Wall Mass

Po Kuei Hsu, Han Shui Hsu*, Anna Fen Yau Li, Liang Shun Wang, Biing Shiun Huang, Min Hsiung Huang, Wen Hu Hsu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Background. Malignant lymphoma presenting as a solitary chest wall mass is not frequently seen. Only a few case reports have been found in the English literature. The treatment for primary chest wall lymphoma remains unclear. Methods. From 1991 to 2004, of 157 patients with initial presentation of isolated chest wall mass, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma was diagnosed in 7 of them. Patients with tumors arising from axillary lymph nodes or mediastinal lymphadenopathy with chest wall extension were excluded in the study. The clinical manifestation, management, and outcome of these patients were reviewed. Results. There were 1 female and 6 male patients with a mean age of 66.5 years. The mean largest diameter of the mass was 10.3 cm. Four of these 7 patients had the chest wall lymphoma as the only site of disease. The other 3 patients had other organ involvement including lung, bone, or liver. The pathologic diagnoses were malignant lymphoma in 2 patients and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in 5 patients. Three patients with chest wall lymphoma as the only site of disease had tumor excision followed by adjuvant chemotherapy. No recurrence or metastasis was noted for these 3 patients. The mean follow-up period was 102 months. The other patient with chest wall lymphoma as the only site of disease, who had chemotherapy as the initial treatment, remained free of disease for 6 months after treatment. The other 3 patients with other organ involvement who were managed with chemotherapy with or without radiotherapy died of disease after a mean survival of 20 months. Conclusions. Malignant lymphoma presenting as a large chest wall mass is not common. Although the primary treatment of choice for lymphoma with or without chest wall involvement is chemotherapy, surgery followed by adjuvant chemotherapy can provide satisfactory outcome for some patients in whom the chest wall lymphoma was the only site of disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1214-1218
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006


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