Precursor T-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma Presenting as Cardiac Tamponade in a 25-Year-Old Male: A Case Report and Review of Literature

Sakshi Kapur, Miles B. Levin


Precursor T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma (LBL) and T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) are considered same disease with different clinical presentations. Clinically, a case is defined as lymphoma if there is a mass lesion in the mediastinum or elsewhere and < 25% blasts in the bone marrow. Whereas, bone marrow with > 25% blasts with or without mediastinal masses is classified as T-cell ALL. Mediastinal masses caused by T-cell LBL can lead to complications such as superior vena cava syndrome, tracheal obstruction, pericardial effusion and tamponade. We report an unusual case of a 25-year-old male with no significant past medical history, who presented with clinical features of cardiac tamponade. Work-up revealed a massive pericardial effusion and a mass arising in the anterosuperior mediastinum. Patient underwent an emergent subxiphoid pericardial window and approximately 1 L of hemopericardium was drained. Histopathology (pericardial tissue) and flow cytometry on the pericardial fluid were compatible with a precursor T-cell LBL. Although pericardial involvement by lymphoma/leukemia is a very rare complication, cases have been reported with both lymphoma and acute/chronic leukemia. Our paper highlights cardiac tamponade as one of the life-threatening complications associated with a precursor T-cell LBL.

World J Oncol. 2014;5(3):129-134


Precursor T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma; Pleural and pericardial effusion; Cardiac tamponade; Pericardial window

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