Diagnosis of primary cardiac lymphoma: Report of a case with cytologic examination of pericardial fluid and imprints of transvenously biopsied intracardiac tissue

T. Y. Chao, S. C L Han, S. Nieh, G. Y. Lan, S. H. Lee

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32 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Primary cardiac lymphoma (PCL) is a treatable disease when appropriately diagnosed. Therefore, a prompt, safe method with high diagnostic accuracy is prerequisite to successful therapy for PCL. CASE: A 57-year-old male presented with exertional dyspnea and atrial fibrillations. A pericardial effusion (PE) and several tumor masses occupying both atria were found. Cytologic examinations of PE and of imprints of the tissues obtained by transvenous biopsy of the cardiac tumors revealed numerous small, round tumor cells and lymphoglandular bodies, suggestive of malignant lymphoma. This cytologic impression was confirmed by immunocytochemical studies on the same cytologic material. Histologic studies reaffirmed the diagnosis of B-cell lymphoma. The patient received eight courses of chemotherapy, with complete remission of the illness. CONCLUSION: Cardiac lymphoma can be quickly and safely diagnosed by cytologic examination of PE or transvenously biopsied cardiac tissue, with confirmation by immunocytochemical studies. Exploratory thoracotomy for biopsy can be avoided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)955-959
Number of pages5
JournalActa Cytologica
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes



  • heart neoplasms
  • lymphoma, B-cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Cell Biology
  • Histology

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