Polyostotic lymphoma

From Dog
Lateral view radiograph of lumbar vertebrae of dog with polyostotic lymphoma. Note the osteophytes on the ventral surface of lumbar vertebral bodies[1]

Polyostotic lymphoma is a variant canine B- or T-cell lymphoma[2] which primarily affecting the long bones, ribs, skull and vertebrae, with secondary metastases to regional lymph nodes[3].

The polyostotic distribution of this disease appears to be caused by hemolymphatic spread of neoplastic cells[4].

Affected dogs usually present with signs referable to skeletal disease, mainly progressive paraparesis, regional pain, lameness, spondylarthrosis and anorexia[1].

Pathological fractures have also been reported in young dogs, due to overactivity normally associated with pups[5].

Although older dogs are often affected, it has been reported in pups at 5 months of age[6].

Secondary metastases to the spleen and liver are commonly reported.

Radiographs usually reveal lysis and proliferative changes within the physes of affected bones.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Vascellari M et al (2007) Vertebral polyostotic lymphoma in a young dog. J Vet Diagn Invest 19(2):205-208
  2. Ortiz-Fernandez L et al (2010) Primary bone lymphoma: polyostotic disease presenting as a cauda equina syndrome. J Clin Rheumatol 16(8):392-394
  3. Lamagna B et al (2006) Polyostotic lymphoma with vertebral involvement and spinal extradural compression in a dog. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 42(1):71-76
  4. Shell L et al (1989) Generalized skeletal involvement of a hematopoietic tumor in a dog. J Am Vet Med Assoc 194:1077–1078
  5. Langley-Hobbs SJ et al (1997) Polyostotic lymphoma in a young dog: a case report and literature review. J Small Anim Pract 38(9):412-416
  6. Thomas HL et al (2001) Radiographic diagnosis-polyostotic lymphoma in a 5 month old dog. Vet Radiol Ultrasound 42(6):521-523