Liver Lymphoma

General characteristics

Secondary involvement of the liver by Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is common in stage IV disease (Kelekis et al. 1997).


On imaging, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma more frequently results in focal hepatic lesions than does Hodgkin’s disease. Lesions vary in signal intensity from low to moderately high on T2-weighted images and are typically low in signal intensity on T1-weighted images. On post-gadolinium images, lesions that are low in signal intensity on T2-weighted images tend to enhance minimally, whereas lesions that are high in signal intensity tend to enhance in a substantial fashion (Kelekis et al. 1997).

Enhancement on immediate post-gadolinium images usually is predominantly peripheral. Lesions of malignant lymphoma may possess transient, ill-defined perilesional enhancement on immediate post-gadolinium images independent of the degree of enhancement of the lesions themselves.

Primary hepatic lymphoma is considerably rarer than secondary involvement and histologically the majority is non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas.

Most tumors are characterized grossly as a large solitary mass, but they may vary in appearance from multiple nodules to diffuse involvement. Tumors are mild to moderately high in signal on T2-weighted images and moderately low in signal intensity on T1-weighted images, and show relatively diffuse heterogeneous enhancement on immediate post-gadolinium gradient-echo images.