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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 763-764

An analysis of autopsy cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma-with special reference to those masquerading as acute febrile illness

Department of Pathology, Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Sonali Rajesh Saraf
Department of Pathology, C-404, Siddhivinayak Annexe, SJ Road, Lower Parel West, Mumbai - 400 013, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-1482.158028

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Context: As in any medical disorder, in non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHLs) also, precise analysis of causes of death is needed to focus research efforts and improve morbidity and mortality. Aims: The aim of this study was to review the clinical presentation, mode of death and the immunophenotype of the autopsy cases of NHL. Settings and Design: Autopsy cases wherein NHL was diagnosed, were selected for study. Subjects and Methods: Autopsy cases which were diagnosed as NHL, either antemortem or after autopsy during a 7 years period at a tertiary care referral centre were studied and reviewed. Statistical Analysis Used: Descriptive statistical analysis used. Results: The autopsy findings seen in eight cases of NHL were reviewed. Except one, all cases were above 40 years age. Infective etiology (62%) followed by cardiorespiratory failure (38%) was the cause of death observed in these patients. In three cases, the antemortem diagnosis of NHL was missed as the patients were being treated for acute febrile illness and were referred late to the Tertiary Care Centre. One of these was a case of extra-nodal primary splenic lymphoma. Conclusion: As NHL present with nonspecific symptoms, these tumours may not be detected in early stages and hence may not be treated appropriately. These patients have weakened immunity and hence are prone to infection and sepsis which can be a major cause of mortality. This autopsy study experience has shown that NHL can masquerade as acute febrile illness which if not detected early and treated adequately can turn fatal.

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