Sunday, July 1, 2007

Nonfluent aphasia in a patient with Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia


Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia (WM) is an uncommon low-grade lymphoma. Cognitive impairment due to central nervous system infiltration by lymphoplasmocytoid cells (Bing-Neel syndrome) has been rarely reported. We describe a 54-year-old man who was referred to a memory disorder clinic with a 9-month history of clinically obvious nonfluent aphasia and WM. He underwent extensive neuropsychological testing, clinical examination and structural and functional brain imaging. The diagnosis of the diffuse form of the Bing-Neel syndrome was supported by abnormal lymphoid cells found in the cerebrospinal fluid. Structural and functional brain imaging revealed impairment of brain areas due to white matter changes and subsequent functional deficits mimicking the neuropsychological syndrome encountered in progressive nonfluent aphasia. The diffuse form of Bing-Neel syndrome and neurological deficits are assumed to be the result of leptomeningeal infiltration by malignant cells and/or neoplastic vascular obstruction.

Keywords: Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia; Bing-Neel syndrome; Neuropsychology


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