Cardiac non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: clinical characteristics and trends in survival

Max J. Gordon, Olga Danilova, Stephen Spurgeon, Alexey V. Danilov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to describe the clinical characteristics and outcomes in cardiac non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). Methods: A retrospective analysis of 94 cases of NHL with biopsy-proven cardiac involvement in PubMed between 1990 and 2015. Results: Among cases with cardiac involvement, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma was the most common histologic subtype (58%), followed by T-cell lymphoma (16%), Burkitt's lymphoma (9%), and small lymphocytic lymphoma (6%). Symptomatic heart failure was the most common clinical presentation (34%), and 20% of patients had no cardiac symptoms. Median survival was 3 months (range, 0–72) among all patients. Patients who presented with heart failure had inferior outcomes. Patients with primary, vs. secondary, cardiac involvement had a trend toward superior outcomes. Importantly, chemotherapy treatment was associated with a prolongation in median survival (18 vs. 1 month, HR 0.16, 95% CI, 0.47–0.54, P = 0.0003), and patients diagnosed in the chemo-immunotherapy era demonstrated a trend toward better outcomes. Median survival was not reached among patients with B-cell malignancies who were alive for 1 month after the diagnosis. Conclusion: Pathologic lymphomatous involvement of cardiac tissue should be considered in the evaluation of patients with NHL. Durable remissions can be achieved in B-cell NHL with cardiac involvement, and thus, therapy should be considered in such cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-452
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Haematology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • cardiac
  • extranodal
  • heart
  • non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • prognosis
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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