Diffuse B-cell lymphoma of the mandible disguised as acute osteomyelitis
  • Devina Adalja
    Department of Internal Medicine, St Joseph’s University Medical Center, Paterson, USA
  • Ariana Tagliaferri
    Department of Gastroenterology and Transplant Hepatology, Creighton University, Phoenix, USA
  • Abraam Rezkalla
    Department of Internal Medicine, St Joseph’s University Medical Center, Paterson, USA
  • Basil Taha
    Department of Infectious Diseases, St Joseph’s University Medical Center, Paterson, USA


Osteomyelitis, lymphoma, bone necrosis, diffuse B-cell


Background: Primary bone lymphoma (PBL) is a rare form of extra nodal non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL).
Case description: We describe a 39-year-old-male with no medical history who presented with unilateral facial swelling following a tooth extraction. Initial diagnoses after various presentations over the course of three weeks, based on inflammatory and infectious aetiologies. However, the patient was ultimately diagnosed with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.
Discussion: Symptoms of PBL are very similar to inflammatory and infectious diseases of the bone, such as osteomyelitis or osteonecrosis. Clinical features of PBL involving the head and neck include persistent jaw pain, tooth mobility secondary to extensive destruction of bone, and in advanced cases, lip numbness and swelling. On examination it may present as an exposed necrotic bone with surrounding soft tissue oedema. Misdiagnosis of these lesions as an infectious or inflammatory aetiology may lead to an unnecessary delay in lymphoma treatment, and subsequently worsen the prognosis if caught at a later stage. Therefore, any concerning lesion, especially in the oral cavity, must be subjected to early histopathological evaluation to differentiate PBL from osteomyelitis and/or osteonecrosis.
Conclusion: This case report highlights the importance of an early histopathological evaluation to prevent delay in the diagnosis of primary bone lymphomas.



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    Published: 2024-01-22
    Issue: 2024: Vol 11 No 2 (view)

    How to cite:
    Adalja D, Tagliaferri A, Rezkalla A, Taha B. Diffuse B-cell lymphoma of the mandible disguised as acute osteomyelitis. EJCRIM 2024;11 doi:10.12890/2024_004243.