Low-grade non-Hodgkin B-cell lymphoma presenting as sensory neuropathy

Franco Gemignani, Gianfranco Marchesi, Guido Di Giovanni, Sultan Salih, Federico Quaini, Eduardo Nobile-Orazio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Low-grade non-Hodgkin B-cell lymphoma was found during the evaluation of 3 aged patients with predominantly sensory neuropathy of mild to moderate severity. Presenting manifestations were sensory ataxia and right ulnar mononeuropathy in a 75-year-old man, and painful dysesthesias of the legs in two 78-year-old women. A neurophysiological study showed mainly axonopathic alterations. M-protein was present in all cases (Ig-κ in two, triclonal gammopathy IgG(κ)/IgM(κ)/IgM-λ in one). The male patient had IgM antisulfatide antibody in high titer, whereas the other 2 patients had cryoglobulinemia (type II and type III, respectively). Our report emphasizes the occurrence of mild polyneuropathy as presenting manifestation of low-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma, different from the clinicopathological entity of neurolymphomatosis, in which severe nerve damage occurs in association with manifest lymphoma, related to nerve infiltration by lymphomatous cells. Alternative pathogenetic mechanisms, such as antibody-mediated nerve damage, or vasa nervorum changes caused by cryoglobulin, may be implicated in our cases. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma should be considered in the diagnostic evaluation of polyneuropathy of unknown cause, especially in patients with paraproteinemia and/or cryoglobulinemia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-141
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Neurology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1996


  • Aging
  • Autoantibodies
  • Cryoglobulinemia
  • Gangliosides
  • Lymphoma
  • Monoclonal gammopathy
  • Sensory neuropathy
  • Sulfatide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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