Clinical Features of 66 Lymphoma Patients Presenting with a Fever of Unknown Origin
Jing Zhang, Bobin Chen, Xiaoping Xu, Zhiguang Lin, Bo Huang, Jing Song, Guowei Lin
Internal medicine (Tokyo. 1992)
Objective To investigate the clinical characteristics, diagnostic approaches, short-term efficacy of treatment and prognosis of lymphoma patients presenting with a fever of unknown origin (FUO). Methods We reviewed the records of 132 patients finally diagnosed with lymphoma in Huashan Hospital, half of whom initially presented with a FUO. The other 66 lymphoma patients without a history of FUO were diagnosed within a month when several patients in the FUO group were also diagnosed. Results The
... atients presenting with a FUO were predominantly young men (71.21%, p=0.35) characterized by a temperature ! 39 (55/66, 83.33%). Compared with the non-FUO group, patients in the FUO group more often had pancytopenia and hypohepatia, 61.54% with hypoalbuminemia (p<0.0001), 15.50% with significantly elevated lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) (p<0.0001), 92.45% with elevated serum β2 microglobulin (p=0.017), 93.48% with elevated urine β2 microglobulin (p=0.002) and 30.77% with elevated alkaline phosphatase (p=0.001). Ninety-four percent of the FUO patients had aggressive lymphomas (p=0.012), with a poor performance status (96.97%, p=0.003), stage III/IV disease (96.97%, p<0.0001), night sweats (21.21%, p=0.026), unexplained weight loss (46.97%, p=0.002) and more than one extranodal site involved (65.15%, p=0.002). The patients in the FUO group also showed poor prognoses, and most of them were in the high-intermediate or high risk classification of the disease (96.61%, p<0.0001), with a low complete remission (CR) rate (61.11% vs. 93.75%, p=0.043). Twenty-one (15.91%) of all the patients were diagnosed based on the finding of lesion sites by Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography (PET/CT) scanning, which had not been detected by conventional scans. Conclusion Lymphoma presenting as FUO has a rapid progression and poor prognosis, and is difficult to diagnose. PET/CT scans can provide complementary information for an etiological diagnosis of a FUO and biopsy examinations are significant to establish an early diagnosis for patients presenting with a FUO.