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Waldeyer ring lymphoma: A case series

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September 18, 2014
by Carren S.L. Teh, MBBS, MS(ORL-HNS); Pailoor Jayalakshmi, FRCPath; Sheldon Y.C. Chong, MBBS, MS(ORL-HNS)


We encountered a patient with a tongue base lymphoma that we initially diagnosed as a lingual tonsil in view of its benign appearance. We established the correct diagnosis of Waldeyer ring lymphoma by histology. This case led us to conduct a study of all cases of Waldeyer ring lymphoma that had been treated at our center during a 10-year period. We retrospectively examined our case records and found 35 such cases. From this group, we excluded 5 cases because of incomplete data. Thus our final study group was made up of 30 patients-14 males and 16 females, aged 14 to 76 years (mean: 51.6; median 54). The primary presenting signs and symptoms were dysphagia (n = 17 [57%]), a neck mass (n = 7 [23%]), nasal symptoms (n = 5 [17%]), and pain (n = 1 [3%]). Only 4 patients (13%) had B symptoms. A total of 20 patients (67%) presented with tonsillar involvement, 8 (27%) with nasopharyngeal involvement, 1 (3%) with tongue base lymphoma, and 1 with anterior tongue involvement. Most patients (77%) presented at an early stage. Histologically, 25 patients (83%) had high-grade diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, 4 (13%) had T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma, and 1 (3%) had follicular lymphoma. Twenty-one patients (70%) were treated with chemotherapy, 4 (13%) received adjuvant chemotherapy with either radiotherapy or surgery, 3 (10%) resorted to other forms of treatment (primarily traditional remedies), and 2 (7%) declined treatment altogether. There were 14 patients (47%) alive at the end of the study period.

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