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21 June 2022 : Case report  Saudi Arabia

Primary Central Nervous System Burkitt Lymphoma, Presenting with Long-Term Fluctuating Level of Consciousness: A Case Report and Literature Review on Challenges in Diagnosis and Management

Challenging differential diagnosis, Rare disease

Salem M. Bahashwan12ABCEF*, Osman O. Radhwi ORCID logo12DF, Hatem M. Alahwal12BCE, Abdullah T. Almohammadi12CF, Ahmed S. Barefah ORCID logo12AC, Yara M. Daous3EF, Fahad A. Alghamdi3BF

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.936401

Am J Case Rep 2022; 23:e936401


BACKGROUND: Burkitt lymphoma (BL) is an aggressive subtype of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) rarely affecting the central nervous system (CNS) as a primary disease. Over the past years, only a few cases of primary CNS Burkitt lymphoma were reported. There is a challenge in early recognition and diagnosis of this type of brain lymphoma. Furthermore, there is no specific treatment protocols for primary CNS Burkitt lymphoma, which adds to the difficulty in managing those patients. We introduce a case of a 65-year-old who presented with fluctuating memory disturbance diagnosed as cerebral Burkitt lymphoma.

CASE REPORT: A 65-year-old man developed a gradual decrease in his level of consciousness over a span of 4 days, associated with fluctuating memory disturbances. A CT scan showed a hyperdense mass in the region of the trigon of the left lateral ventricle and marked obstructive hydrocephalus involving the temporal, occipital horns, and the left lateral ventricle, with no evidence of other suspicious lesions. A brain biopsy of the lesion revealed features of encephalitis initially, but the patient presented later with worsening symptoms, and a repeated brain biopsy showed features of Burkett lymphoma, with normal pan-CT scan.

CONCLUSIONS: Primary CNS Burkitt lymphoma (PCNSBL) is a rare disease with no clear evidence in the literature of how to deal with it. Reporting such cases provides a better understanding of how to approach such unusual presentations. Treatment of PCNSBL is challenging and even with the currently adopted approaches, the disease still has a very poor outcome.

Keywords: Burkitt Lymphoma, Central Nervous System Neoplasms, chemoradiotherapy



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American Journal of Case Reports eISSN: 1941-5923
American Journal of Case Reports eISSN: 1941-5923