Primary hepatic diffuse large B-cell lymphoma presenting unusual imaging features


Clin J Gastroenterol. 2020 Aug 13. doi: 10.1007/s12328-020-01203-7. Online ahead of print.


Primary hepatic lymphomas are frequently misdiagnosed, due to their rarity and non-specific clinical manifestations. As these tumors can be successfully treated with chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy, early recognition on imaging is essential to avoid unnecessary surgery. We report a case of primary hepatic lymphoma in a 73-year-old woman presenting with a 1-week history of persistent fever and elevated hepatobiliary enzymes. Ultrasound showed a hypoechoic hepatic mass in the anterior segment.

Dynamic contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) revealed an ill-defined solitary mass showing peripherally dominant slight-to-moderate enhancement contrasting with a hypovascular central area. On magnetic resonance imaging, the mass showed moderate hyperintensity on T2-weighted imaging, hypointensity on T1-weighted imaging, doughnut-like hyperintensity on diffusion-weighted imaging, and an obviously low apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC). The pattern of enhancement resembled that of CT. Neither calcification nor any fat component was observed. Doughnut-like accumulation was seen on 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-positron emission tomography/CT without other FDG-avid lesions. Imaging findings suggested the possibility of cholangiocellular carcinoma, but the low ADC and extremely high FDG accumulation were suggestive of malignant lymphoma, and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma was pathologically confirmed from percutaneous biopsy. The mass disappeared after radiochemotherapy, and no recurrence has been observed for 3 years.