Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

Case Report

Primary central nervous system methotrexate associated lymphoproliferative disorders in a patient with rheumatoid arthritis

Yudai Uchida, M.D.1), Keiichi Hokkoku, M.D.1), Yuki Hatanaka, M.D.1), Yoshinao Kikuchi, M.D.2), Haruko Tashiro, M.D.3) and Masahiro Sonoo, M.D.1)

1)Department of Neurology, Teikyo University School of Medicine
2)Department of Pathology, Teikyo University School of Medicine
3)Department of Internal Medicine, Teikyo University School of Medicine

We report on a 52-year-old woman with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who developed methotrexate associated lymphoproliferative disorders (MTX-LPD) in the central nervous system (CNS) in the course of immunosuppressive therapy for RA. The patient was admitted because of monoplegia in her left hand. She had been receiving methotrexate (MTX) for her RA for several years and etanercept had also been introduced because of a worsening of the arthritis six months before admission. Brain MRI revealed multiple lesions with enhancement scattered throughout both hemispheres. 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography/computed tomography showed abnormal accumulation suggesting malignancy in the right frontal lobe where abnormal enhancement was observed on the MRI. A brain biopsy was performed at the identified site and it confirmed diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). We therefore diagnosed her as MTX-LPD. According to previous reports, most MTX-LPD cases tend to show regression after the cessation of MTX. However, our case showed no regression and even needed chemotherapy. The patient had a poorer prognosis than previous cases and died 17 months after the onset. Although it is an uncommon complication, particularly in the CNS, MTX-LPD should be considered as a critical differential diagnosis if a patient receiving MTX develops central nervous system lesions. Immediate medical intervention including brain biopsy is required.
Full Text of this Article in Japanese PDF (857K)

(CLINICA NEUROL, 58: 485|491, 2018)
key words: methotrexate associated lymphoproliferative disorders, other iatrogenic immunodeficiency-associated lymphoproliferative disorders, primary central nervous system malignant lymphoma, rheumatoid arthritis

(Received: 20-Feb-18)