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Minerva Chirurgica 2009 April;64(2):229-33

language: Italian

Burkitt’s lymphoma of the caecum in a pa-tient with AIDS: clinical case and review of the literature

Siani L. M., Siani A., Ricci V., D’Elia M., Masoni T., Uggeri G.

Unità Operativa Complessa di Chirurgia Generale Ospedale S. Giacomo e Cristoforo Massa, Massa Carrara, Italia


Overall, lymphomas of the gastrointestinal tract are rare, although they are the most frequent extranodal location. The incidence of primary colic lymphoma, above all in the non-Hodgkin variant, is clearly higher in the HIV positive population, especially in subjects with AIDS. The authors present the case of a 51-year-old patient with AIDS undergoing antiviral therapy; he was suffering from abdominal pain and presented a palpable mass in the right iliac fossa; diagnosis was caecal non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL); radical right hemicolectomy was carried out with definitive histological diagnosis of Burkitt-type small cell NHL. The NHL of the colon represents no more than 1.2% of all malignant cancers of this part of the intestinal tract. Nevertheless such cases are comparatively frequent in patients with HIV virus, especially in the active phase and clinically proven to be due to immunodeficient syndrome. Of cardinal importance is the differential diagnosis between primary and secondary forms because of the different treatment and prognosis. Frequently such forms are observed in patients with AIDS, at advanced stages and with differentiated and hence more aggressive histotypes, also because they are present in organisms weakened by the underlying disease and by immunodeficiency. Primary NHLs of the colon are relatively frequent and aggressive in patients with AIDS; early diagnosis and treatment are therefore of fundamental importance to improve the oncological outcome for these patients.

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