Primary pulmonary lymphoma mimicking a refractory lung abscess: A case report

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The current study presents a case of primary pulmonary lymphoma (PPL) mimicking refractory lung abscess that was diagnosed at autopsy. An 80-year-old male with clinically inapparent aspiration presented with a large cavitated mass and pleural effusion. A lung abscess and empyema was diagnosed, therefore, antibiotics were administered and the pleural effusion was drained. Various examinations, including a biopsy, yielded no specific diagnosis. The lesion was considered inoperable due to the poor general condition of the patient. Subsequently, the mass that had been diagnosed as a refractory lung abscess became enlarged and a repeat biopsy resulted in a diagnosis of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. The patient succumbed to sudden respiratory failure, and the final diagnosis of PPL was confirmed at autopsy. PPL is a rare disease that accounts for 0.45% of all pulmonary malignant tumors and is difficult to diagnose in inoperable cases. Therefore, patients with PPL who do not undergo surgery can be misdiagnosed and consequently treated inappropriately. PPL should therefore be considered in the differential diagnosis of a refractory lung abscess.




Matsumoto, T., Otsuka, K., Funayama, Y., Imai, Y., & Tomii, K. (2015). Primary pulmonary lymphoma mimicking a refractory lung abscess: A case report. Oncology Letters, 9(4), 1575–1578.

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