Project Title

Angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma, a rare disease causing recurrent chylothorax.

Authors' Affiliations

East Tennessee State University, Department of Internal Medicine

Location

Clinch Mtn. Room 215

Start Date

4-5-2018 8:00 AM

End Date

4-5-2018 12:00 PM

Poster Number

162

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Adel El Abbassi, MD

Faculty Sponsor's Department

Department of Internal Medicince

Type

Poster: Competitive

Classification of First Author

Medical Resident or Clinical Fellow

Project's Category

Biomedical Case Study

Abstract Text

Angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL) is a rare type of lymphoid malignancy with most affected patients presenting in their late 60’s with nonspecific symptoms, laboratory signs and advanced stage disease.

78 year old female with history of hypertension presented to the hospital with complaints of dyspnea, dry cough and fatigue of one week duration. She denied having fever, chills, night sweats or recent weight loss. Labs on admission were significant for leukopenia with lymphocytopenia, thrombocytopenia, hyponatremia and hyperglobulinemia. Computer tomography chest and abdomen showed bilateral multifocal lung infiltrates, large left side pleural effusion, diffuse lymphadenopathy and splenomegaly. She was started on empiric antibiotics for community acquired pneumonia. Sputum culture did not identify any offending organism and although thoracentesis was consistent with exudative fluid, microbiology and pathologic studies also did not offer a diagnosis. Fine needle aspiration of a suspicious lymph node was also negative. She was discharged home to complete treatment for pneumonia but over the next two months, she presented on three different occasions with the same respiratory symptoms. Serial thoracentesis thereafter showed chylous fluid that was fast re-accumulating. A repeat flow cytometry of the pleural fluid was concerning for a lymphoproliferative process and subsequent excisional biopsy with molecular studies performed on rearrangement of T-cell receptors resulted in eventual diagnosis of Angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma stage IV due to associated lung involvement. She declined aggressive management and opted for palliative care.

Lymphoma presenting with chylothorax is not common due to early diagnosis of most lymphoma but it can be the initial presentation of AITL because most patients present with nonspecific symptoms and lab findings that make diagnosis difficult and delayed. In our patient, eventual diagnosis was three months from initial presentation. This is not ideal because most patients who succumb to the disease tend to do so from progressive worsening nutritional status and immunosuppression that ensues as the disease advances. The recurrent chylothorax seen in our patient is likely a result of tumor burden that obstructed chyle drainage through the thoracic duct and may have resolved with adequate treatment of the disease. Multiple laboratory abnormalities and B-type symptoms in a patient with unclear primary process should prompt workup for a possible neoplastic disease, particularly lymphoma. Clinicians who suspect a lymphoproliferative process in patients with diffuse lymphadenopathy and pulmonary symptoms of unclear etiology should consider getting an excisional tissue biopsy for further diagnostic studies. PCR based studies that assess for cell locality is also helpful in particularly difficult cases.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 5th, 8:00 AM Apr 5th, 12:00 PM

Angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma, a rare disease causing recurrent chylothorax.

Clinch Mtn. Room 215

Angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL) is a rare type of lymphoid malignancy with most affected patients presenting in their late 60’s with nonspecific symptoms, laboratory signs and advanced stage disease.

78 year old female with history of hypertension presented to the hospital with complaints of dyspnea, dry cough and fatigue of one week duration. She denied having fever, chills, night sweats or recent weight loss. Labs on admission were significant for leukopenia with lymphocytopenia, thrombocytopenia, hyponatremia and hyperglobulinemia. Computer tomography chest and abdomen showed bilateral multifocal lung infiltrates, large left side pleural effusion, diffuse lymphadenopathy and splenomegaly. She was started on empiric antibiotics for community acquired pneumonia. Sputum culture did not identify any offending organism and although thoracentesis was consistent with exudative fluid, microbiology and pathologic studies also did not offer a diagnosis. Fine needle aspiration of a suspicious lymph node was also negative. She was discharged home to complete treatment for pneumonia but over the next two months, she presented on three different occasions with the same respiratory symptoms. Serial thoracentesis thereafter showed chylous fluid that was fast re-accumulating. A repeat flow cytometry of the pleural fluid was concerning for a lymphoproliferative process and subsequent excisional biopsy with molecular studies performed on rearrangement of T-cell receptors resulted in eventual diagnosis of Angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma stage IV due to associated lung involvement. She declined aggressive management and opted for palliative care.

Lymphoma presenting with chylothorax is not common due to early diagnosis of most lymphoma but it can be the initial presentation of AITL because most patients present with nonspecific symptoms and lab findings that make diagnosis difficult and delayed. In our patient, eventual diagnosis was three months from initial presentation. This is not ideal because most patients who succumb to the disease tend to do so from progressive worsening nutritional status and immunosuppression that ensues as the disease advances. The recurrent chylothorax seen in our patient is likely a result of tumor burden that obstructed chyle drainage through the thoracic duct and may have resolved with adequate treatment of the disease. Multiple laboratory abnormalities and B-type symptoms in a patient with unclear primary process should prompt workup for a possible neoplastic disease, particularly lymphoma. Clinicians who suspect a lymphoproliferative process in patients with diffuse lymphadenopathy and pulmonary symptoms of unclear etiology should consider getting an excisional tissue biopsy for further diagnostic studies. PCR based studies that assess for cell locality is also helpful in particularly difficult cases.