Small intestinal perforation in patients with Burkitt lymphoma is extremely rare. We present the first report of such a case.
A 53-year-old woman was admitted with abdominal pain and vomiting. Abdominal examination revealed rigidity and tenderness in the upper abdomen. Computed tomography scan showed thickening of the wall of the jejunum, intra-abdominal free gas, and ascites; the patient was diagnosed with small intestinal perforation, and underwent emergency surgery on the same day. Laparoscopic findings were a 50 mm jejunal perforation and perforation in the transverse mesocolon. A partial jejunal resection of the perforated area, partial transverse colectomy, temporary colostomy, and intra-abdominal drainage were performed. Histological examination showed diffuse infiltration of medium-sized atypical lymphocytes in the perforated area, exhibiting a “starry sky” appearance. Immunostaining results showed that the atypical lymphocytes were CD20 and virtually 100% Ki-67 positive, and CD56, CD30, and EBER negative. The lesion was identified as Burkitt lymphoma (BL). The postoperative course was favorable. On postoperative day 18 the patient began chemotherapy through the hematology department. Currently, the patient is in remission.
The majority of the malignant lymphomas occurring in the digestive tract are identified in the stomach; over 90% are B-cell lymphomas and mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma Nakamura et al. BL originating from the small intestine accounts for only about 9%.
The incidence of BL in the small intestine is low. Pretreatment BL can lead to bowel perforation. Prompt involvement of the hemato-oncologist after definitive diagnosis, and commencing chemotherapy as early as possible after surgery, are thought to improve prognosis.