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Atypical Presentation of Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma with Pericardial Effusion

Rare co-existance of disease or pathology

Christopher Nnaoma, Ogechukwu Chika-Nwosuh, Ikechukwu Mbonu, Christoph W. Sossou, Christian C. Okonkwo, Anthony Isedeh

USA Department of Internal Medicine, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Newark, NJ, USA

Am J Case Rep 2019; 20:1128-1131

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.915576

Available online:

Published: 2019-07-31

BACKGROUND: Small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL) is a low-grade B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma and is the solid tumor equivalent of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) that is found in the peripheral blood. SLL typically presents with lymphadenopathy and is rarely associated with cardiac involvement. This report is of a case of lymphomatous pericardial effusion in a 61-year-old woman who presented with dyspnea.
CASE REPORT: A 61-year-old woman presented to the emergency department with a three-month history of worsening shortness of breath on exertion. Her symptoms progressed to shortness of breath at rest, with night sweats and chills. She had no weight loss. She was found to have a pericardial effusion, and an urgent pericardiocentesis was performed to prevent cardiac tamponade. Analysis of the pericardial fluid was consistent with a diagnosis of SLL. A bone marrow biopsy and a biopsy of a renal mass were consistent with a diagnosis of SLL. She was treated with rituximab and bendamustine with granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) support and was discharged home.
CONCLUSIONS: A case is presented of a rare association between SLL and pericardial effusion with a favorable outcome following urgent pericardiocentesis to prevent cardiac tamponade followed by chemotherapy.

Keywords: Chemotherapy, Adjuvant, Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell, Pericardial Effusion