We assessed the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) by flow cytometry and cytology in 51 newly diagnosed and 9 treated aggressive B-cell lymphomas at risk for central nervous system (CNS) involvement to examine the utility of flow cytometry, incidence of CSF disease, and clinical surrogates of CNS spread. Multicolor flow cytometry using multiple antibody panels for light chains and B- and T-cell antigens identified neoplastic clones that constituted as little as 0.2% of total CSF lymphocytes. Among 51 newly diagnosed patients, 11 (22%) had occult CSF involvement. All 11 were detected by flow cytometry but only 1 by cytology (P = .002). Among 9 treated patients, CSF involvement was detected by flow cytometry alone in 2 and also by cytology in 1 case. CSF chemistry and cell counts were similar in patients with and without CSF lymphoma. Only the number of extranodal sites was associated with occult CSF lymphoma in newly diagnosed patients by univariate (P = .006) or logistic regression analysis (P = .012). We hypothesize that the biologic phenotype associated with colonization of extranodal sites leads to CNS spread, possibly related to the microenvironment. Patients at risk for CNS spread should undergo staging CSF evaluation by flow cytometry.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology