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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


Burkitt Lymphoma Presenting as an Intracardiac Mass: Case Report and Review of Literature

Challenging differential diagnosis, Unusual setting of medical care, Rare disease, Educational Purpose (only if useful for a systematic review or synthesis)

Onyee Chan, Michael Igwe, Christian S. Breburda, Surabhi Amar

USA Department of Medicine, University of Arizona, Banner University Medical Center, Tucson, AZ, AZ, USA

Am J Case Rep 2016; 17:553-558

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.899022

Available online: 2016-08-03

Published: 2016-08-03


BACKGROUND: Non-neoplastic causes such as infections and thrombi account for most intracardiac masses. Primary tumors such as myxomas and metastasis from breast cancer, lung cancer, or melanomas account for many of the remaining cases. Burkitt lymphoma manifesting as an intracardiac mass is a rare entity, with 21 cases reported in the English literature.
CASE REPORT: We report the case of a man infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) who presented with non-specific cardiac symptoms and was later found to have intracardiac mass caused by Burkitt lymphoma. His rapid decline with unexpected complications was reversed with prompt management. Subsequent to induction, the patient achieved a near complete response with considerable improvement in his condition.
CONCLUSIONS: Lymphoma should be considered in the differential diagnosis of intracardiac masses. Associated cardiac symptoms are frequently non-specific and can often be overlooked or underappreciated. Burkitt lymphoma has a short doubling time and an intracardiac lesion can become life-threatening in a matter of days. Early recognition and prompt treatment are crucial to achieving optimal outcomes.

Keywords: Burkitt Lymphoma, Heart Neoplasms, Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin