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Bowel lymphoma complicated by bleeding after therapy

Case contributed by Dr Vikas Shah


Weight loss, abdominal pain and leg swelling. On examination, lower abdominal mass.

Patient Data

Age: 50 years
Gender: Male

CT abdomen and pelvis

Bulky retroperitoneal and left pelvic sidewall lymphadenopathy. Diffuse, smooth, circumferential thickening of the small bowel. Some dilatation of the small bowel too. Small volume of free fluid. Normal upper abdominal solid organs.

Left iliac lymph node biopsy with immunohistochemical analysis showed Burkitt's lymphoma.

Treatment was commenced, and 1 month later, presents with haematemesis. Upper GI endoscopy shows altered blood in stomach and duodenum but no focal site of bleeding. A CT was requested to find a source of bleeding.


Multiphase CT abdomen and pelvis

Most of the small bowel wall thickening has resolved. There remains bulky lymphadenopathy. A blush of contrast is seen on the arterial phase images within the small bowel approximately 30 cm from the DJ flexure, with dissipation on the venous phase and no high density in the region on the non-contrast phase. This is consistent with a site of active hemorrhage.

Case Discussion

Two separate catheter angiogram studies failed to show a focal bleeding point, and there was no more upper GI tract bleeding. Resolution of the small bowel wall thickening may have left the mucosa in a friable state, causing the bleeding.

Burkitt lymphoma accounts for 1-2% of lymphoma in adults, and 30% have extranodal involvement at presentation. 

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Case information

rID: 55601
Published: 17th Sep 2017
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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