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Primary central nervous system lymphoma: a practical guide for neurologists
  1. Toni Saad1,
  2. Alexander Tuck2,
  3. Farhad Golestani1,
  4. Paul Smith1,3,
  5. Rory McCulloch4
  1. 1 Department of Neurology, Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, Gloucester, UK
  2. 2 Gastroenterology, Great Western Hospital, Swindon, UK
  3. 3 Neuroradiology, North Bristol NHS Trust, Bristol, UK
  4. 4 Haematology, Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, Gloucester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Toni Saad, Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, Gloucester, UK; toni.saad{at}


Primary central nervous system lymphoma is rare, comprising 4% of intracranial neoplasms. Although haematologists or oncologists subsequently manage the condition, it is often neurologists who first make, or at least suspect, the diagnosis. This article reviews the disease, its clinical and radiological features and details the work-up needed to achieve a diagnosis (namely histological or cytological confirmation) and to prepare the patient for treatment. We note the importance of brain biopsy, the role of corticosteroids and the varied treatment options.


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  • Contributors TS and AT planned and drafter the paper. FG, PS and RM made substantial contributions and critically revised the paper from the respective perspectives of neurology, neuroradiology and haematology.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned. Externally peer reviewed by Jeremy Rees, London, UK.

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