Variations in clinical presentation, frequency of hemophagocytosis and clinical behavior of intravascular lymphoma diagnosed in different geographical regions

Andrés J.M. Ferreri*, Giuseppina P. Dognini, Elías Campo, Rein Willemze, John F. Seymour, Osnat Bairey, Maurizio Martelli, Amalia De Renzo, Claudio Doglioni, Carlos Montalbán, Alberto Tedeschi, Astrid Pavlovsky, Sue Morgan, Lilj Uziel, Massimo Ferracci, Stefano Ascani, Umberto Gianelli, Carlo Patriarca, Fabio Facchetti, Alessio Dalla LiberaBarbara Pertoldi, Barbara Horváth, Arpad Szomor, Emanuele Zucca, Franco Cavalli, Maurilio Ponzoni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Objectives: This study explored variations in the clinical manifestations of intravascular lymphoma (IVL) on the bases of the association with hemophagocytosis and the country where the diagnosis was made. Design and Methods: The clinical features of 50 Western patients with IVL were compared with those of 123 patients with IVL diagnosed in Eastern countries (87 diagnosed in Japan and 36 in other Asian countries), previously reported in English literature, and collected by an electronic bibliographic search. Results: Hemophagocytosis was absent in Western patients, but reported in 38 (44%) Japanese patients (p=0.00001) and in seven (19%) patients from other Asian countries (p=0.002). No clinical differences were evident between patients with hemophagocytosis-negative IVL diagnosed in Western countries, Japan and other Asian Countries. Conversely, Japanese and non-Japanese patients with hemophagocytosis-related IVL more frequently had stage IV disease, fever, hepato-splenic involvement, marrow infiltration, dyspnea, anemia, and thrombocytopenia, and rarely exhibited cutaneous or central nervous system involvement. Lymph node and peripheral blood involvement was uncommon in all subgroups. In Western patients, anthracycline-based chemotherapy was associated with a 52% remission rate, and a 2-year overall survival of 46%. Interpretation and Conclusions: The clinical features of IVL vary according to the association with hemophagocytosis, regardless of the country in which the diagnosis is made. Western, Japanese and other Asian patients with hemophagocytosis-negative IVL display similar clinical characteristics and should be considered as having classical IVL. Patients with hemophagocytosis-related IVL show significantly different clinical features. Both forms have a poor prognosis. Extensive molecular studies are needed to explore whether these clinical differences might reflect discordant biological entities within IVL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)486-492
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain lymphoma
  • Cutaneous lymphoma
  • Hemophagocytosis
  • Intravascular lymphoma


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