Clinical Investigation| Volume 364, ISSUE 2, P192-197, August 2022

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Pulmonary MALT lymphoma: Imaging findings in 18 cases and the associated pathological correlations



      Pulmonary MALT lymphoma is a rare disease that is easily misdiagnosed. The objective of this study was to improve the understanding of pulmonary MALT lymphoma for clinicians.


      The computed tomography (CT) scans of 18 patients (13 males and 5 females), aged 41-70 years (mean=55.6 years), with histologically proven pulmonary MALT lymphoma were retrospectively reviewed by two radiologists, and pulmonary imaging findings were described. Correlations between the pulmonary abnormalities and histopathological findings in 13 patients were retrospectively reviewed.


      Elementary lesions were characterized by masses or mass-like areas of consolidation (15/18), nodules (5/18), air bronchograms (16/18), airway dilatation (7/18), cavitation (5/18), airways passing through the lesion (8/18), CT angiogram signs (12/14) and vessels passing through the lesion (12/14). Additional findings included multiple cysts (n = 1), pleural effusion (n = 1) and atelectasis (n = 1). Pulmonary abnormalities were correlated with pathological appearance. Pathological examination confirmed lymphomatous infiltration with a bronchovascular distribution but no vessel or airway destruction, which appeared on CT as the vessels/airways passed through lesions naturally.


      We herein demonstrated the imaging findings for 18 cases of pulmonary MALT lymphomas by analyzing the corresponding pathologies. We also discovered that vessels/airways could pass through pulmonary MALT lymphoma lesions, which may be helpful for diagnosis. This disease should be considered when chest CT imaging shows multiple/single masses or nodules or mass-like areas of consolidation together with vessels/airways passing through lesions.

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