Objective: Cardiac involvement in malignant lympho-ma: 5-10% of cases, more frequently occurring in non-Hodgkin’s malignant lymphoma, aggravating disease symptoms and prognosis.
Methods: Patients: 46 children (21 males and 17 fema-les) aged between 3month and 17 years with malignant lymphoma admitted in Saint Mary Hospital in a five years interval; To all patients were performed clinical exam, ECG, chest X-ray and echocardiography(echo). Results: Cardiac involvement was highlighted in 6 cases (15.8%).Clinical signs onset such as astenia, dyspnea, cough, superior vena cava syndrome have been assig-ned to the underlying disease. ECG: low voltage of QRS complexes and T waves. Chest X-ray: mediastinal in-volvement (5) and massive right-side pleural effusion (1). Echo: pericardial effusion (4 cases) to cardiac tam-ponade (2), pericardial tumor (1), intracardiac masses located in the right atrium. Pericardiocentesis per-formed in all cases with echo aspects of pericardial effusion: haemorrhagic effusion with lymphomatous cytology.In the cases with cardiac tumour echo data were confirmed by autopsy. In the other cases only with pericardial effusion, followed by one year, the echol images turned to normal after chemotherapy.
Conclusions: Because of high incidence of cardiac in-volvement in NHL in child, echocardiography is ne-cessary in all cases, even if cardiac suffering signs are missing, in order to early diagnosis of cardiac involve-ment and prevent the evolution to cardiac tamponade or other cardiac emergency. Echocardiography is the most important investigation to diagnose and follow-up the cardiac involvement in malignant lymphoma in child.