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Imaging of Lymphoma of the Spinal Column 2013

Category General Spine Ashley Aultman
Andrew Boyer, MD
Jeffrey Wilseck, DO
Purpose Lymphomatous involvement of the spinal column is uncommon and can occur as a result of both primary central nervous system lymphoma and systemic lymphoma.  Common symptoms include back pain, paraparesis and spinal cord compression.   Lymphomatous involvement of the spine can occur in the paraspinous soft tissue, osseous, epidural, intradural extramedullary, or intramedullary compartments.  The purpose of this educational exhibit is to discuss the various types of lymphoma that can exhibit spine involvement, to review the imaging presentation of lymphoma affecting the different spinal compartments, and to discuss pertinent compartment-specific differential diagnoses. Materials & Methods This exhibit will include a concise review of the classification and nomenclature of lymphoma.  A brief discussion of the clinical symptoms and implications of lymphoma of the spine will be followed by a discussion of the various imaging techniques utilized in the detection of lymphoma of the spine.  A pictorial review and discussion of the imaging findings of spinal lymphoma will be organized by spinal compartment.  Relevant compartment-specific differential diagnoses will be discussed. Results Lymphoma can affect the spine as primary spinal lymphoma or as a result of systemic lymphoma.  Multimodality imaging techniques including MRI and CT are utilized to evaluate lymphomatous involvement of the spine. Lymphoma can affect multiple compartments of the spinal column including paraspinous soft tissue, osseous compartment, epidural space, dural, leptomeningeal, and spinal cord. Conclusion In conclusion, lymphoma can involve multiple compartments of the spine.  This exhibit will review and depict the spectrum of imaging findings of lymphomatous involvement of the spinal column. References