Primary non-Hodgkin's lymphoma of the gall bladder

Leuk Lymphoma. 2000 Dec;40(1-2):123-31. doi: 10.3109/10428190009054889.


Primary non-Hodgkin lymphoma of the gallbladder is a very rare location of extranodal non-Hodgkin lymphomas. A patient with a primary non-Hodgkin lymphoma of the gallbladder is reported and in addition, the English literature is reviewed. Clinical presentation, diagnostic evaluation, histopathologic findings, treatment modalities and prognosis of primary gallbladder lymphomas reported up to date are reviewed and discussed. Our patient was diagnosed as a T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma, after cholecystectomy, and had no evidence of disease elsewhere. She was treated with combination chemotherapy and complete remission was achieved. She remains free of disease 9 years later. Review of the literature over a 30-year period revealed only 12 cases of well-documented primary non-Hodgkin lymphoma involvement of the gallbladder, including the present case. Patients present clinically with symptoms and signs indicating either biliary tract pathology or a gastrointestinal tumor. Diagnostic investigation included ultrasound of the upper abdomen, computed tomography of the abdomen and pelvis, oral cholecystography, percutaneous cholangiography and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopangreatography. Preoperative diagnosis was established in none of the patients. Treatment modalities included surgery and postoperative chemotherapy and irradiation. The prognosis is overall poor and only 2 patients are alive after 1 and 9 years respectively, the latter being our case. Here we document the first reported case of a patient with primary T-cell lymphoblastic non-Hodgkin lymphoma of the gallbladder. Review of the literature shows the existence of non-Hodgkin lymphoma of the gallbladder, its rarity and its general dismal prognosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage
  • Cyclophosphamide / administration & dosage
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Doxorubicin / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Gallbladder / diagnostic imaging
  • Gallbladder / pathology
  • Gallbladder / ultrastructure
  • Gallbladder Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Gallbladder Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Gallbladder Neoplasms / etiology
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / diagnosis*
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / drug therapy
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / etiology
  • Methotrexate / administration & dosage
  • Prednisone / administration & dosage
  • Ultrasonography
  • Vincristine / administration & dosage


  • Vincristine
  • Doxorubicin
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Prednisone
  • Methotrexate

Supplementary concepts

  • MEVAP protocol