Bone Marrow Involvement in Malignant Lymphomas (Non-Hodgkin's)

Abstract

Background: Bone marrow biopsies are taken routinely in the initial investigation of patients with non-Hodgkin, s lymphomas to estimate the progression of disease at time of presentation (staging) and to type mode of proliferation (growth pattern) in the bone marrow.Method: Initial pretreatment bone marrow biopsies were taken from twenty-four patients diagnosed by the established criteria on lymph node biopsies as suffering from one of the non-Hodgkin, s lymphomas. All biopsies were examined histologically.Result: Frequency of bone marrow involvement in different types of non-Hodgkin, s lymphomas (at time of initial diagnosis) was found in 75%. In the low grade lymphoma the age incidence was 28-75 years (mean50 years); while for the high grade type it was 6-25 years (mean15years).Conclusion: The results clearly demonstrate that at first presentation over half of the patients with malignant lymphoma have positive bone marrow biopsies indicating disseminated disease, i.e. stage IV. Malignant lymphoma of low grade malignancy more frequently involves the bone marrow than malignant lymphoma of high grade malignancy. Thus, in the bone marrow biopsy the clinician has a tool at his disposal which supplies decision information on the diagnosis and therapy of any given patient with non-Hodgkin, s lymphomas. Keywords: Non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, bone marrow biopsy.