Document Type


Publication Date



Honors Program Student Research Symposium (April, 2018)

Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Department of Pathology, Anatomy & Cell Biology

Stephen Peiper, MD, Chair

Program Coordinators: Casey Callahan, BS & Bruce Fenderson, PhD

Funding provided by the "Intersociety Council for Pathology Information"


Primary central nervous system lymphomas (PCNSL) without systemic involvement are rare and account for only 2-3% of all brain tumors and <1% of all non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). Close to 40% of PCNSL are associated with immunosuppression, however, the incidence of primary central nervous system (CNS) lymphomas has shown an increasing trend in immunocompetent patients in recent decades due to better control of HIV and drug-induced immunosuppression [2]. Here, we describe a case of a primary CNS non-Hodgkin’s small mature B-cell lymphoma with plasmacytic differentiation in an immunocompetent individual. A previously healthy 87-year-old Caucasian woman presented to the neurology clinic with complaints of slowly progressing left sided weakness, predominantly in the left arm and leg over the last 6 months. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain revealed a large, confluent white matter T2-hyperintensity in the right frontal lobe with multifocal nodular enhancement involving the left cerebral hemisphere, cerebellum, and leptomeninges, consistent morphologically with lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma. A bone marrow biopsy showed normal trilineage hematopoiesis with no evidence of lymphoma, myeloma or amyloidosis. Our patient was treated with Rituximab but developed an ischemic infarct of the left frontal white matter. She and her family decided to forego further treatment and switch to hospice care.