Clinicopathological analysis of 143 primary malignant lymphomas in the small and large intestines based on the new WHO classification


S Kohno MD, Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Fukuoka University, Nanakuma 7-45-1, Jonan-ku, Fukuoka 814-0180, Japan.


Aim:  To study the clinicopathological and immunohistochemical features of 143 cases of primary small and large intestinal non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) in Japanese patients who presented between 1981 and 2000.

Methods and results:  The new World Health Organization (WHO) classification was used to classify NHL. The patients included 109 males and 34 females, with an average age of 54.1 years. Tumour sites were as follows: ileocaecal (n = 51, 35.7%), ileum (n = 29, 20.3%), rectum (n = 13, 9.1%), and duodenum (n = 11, 7.7%). Macroscopically, 124 cases (86.7%) were classified as tumorous type, 12 (8.4%) as diffuse infiltration type (erosion, superficial ulceration), five (3.5%) as polyposis type, and only two cases (1.4%) as ulceration type. Immunohistochemically, 122 lesions (85.3%) were of B-cell phenotype and 21 lesions (14.7%) were of T-cell phenotype. According to the WHO classification, of the B-cell lymphomas, 84 cases (68.9%) were large cell, 16 (13.1%) were Burkitt, 10 (8.2%) were marginal zone B-cell lymphomas of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT), and seven (5.7%) were mantle cell tumours. Among the T-cell lymphomas, 15 (71.4%) were of unspecified type, two (9.5%) were natural killer type, two were anaplastic large-cell lymphomas, one was lymphoblastic, and one was an adult T-cell leukaemia lymphoma. The survival rate for T-cell lymphomas was poorer than for B-cell lymphomas. Among the B-cell lymphomas, mantle cell lymphoma tended to have a poorer prognosis, whereas MALT lymphomas had a better prognosis than other B-cell tumour types.

Conclusions:  Our retrospective study of patients with primary malignant lymphomas in the small and large intestines has illustrated the clinical features and outcomes of patients with this disease.