Unusual presentation of extranodal peripheral T-cell lymphomas with multiple paraneoplastic features

Cancer. 1991 Aug 15;68(4):834-41. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19910815)68:4<834::aid-cncr2820680428>3.0.co;2-c.


Three patients with extranodal peripheral T-cell lymphoma and a distinctive clinical presentation are described. They had acute onset of fever, weight loss, progressive liver failure, bleeding diathesis, pancytopenia, and myelodysplastic changes in the bone marrow. Each patient had one or more paraneoplastic complications: severe rhabdomyolysis with myoglobinuria and secondary renal failure, cutaneous vasculitis, gluten-sensitive enteropathy, polyserositis, and increased macrophages with hemophagocytic activity. They did not have peripheral lymphadenopathy. The complex clinical presentations simulated collagen vascular disorders, systemic infections, or severe liver disease rather than a malignant lymphoma. Routine histologic studies revealed a small population of lymphoma cells in the bone marrow, spleen, and liver. Immunophenotyping studies demonstrated their T-cell phenotype, and cytogenetic analysis showed the clonality in Patients 1 and 2; clonal T-cell receptor gene rearrangement was found in Patients 2 and 3. These studies should be considered in the evaluation of patients with constitutional symptoms, liver failure, coagulopathy, and pancytopenia even in the absence of peripheral lymphadenopathy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antigens, Surface / analysis
  • Bone Marrow Examination
  • Cytotoxicity Tests, Immunologic
  • DNA Probes
  • Gene Rearrangement
  • Gene Rearrangement, beta-Chain T-Cell Antigen Receptor
  • Genes, Immunoglobulin / genetics
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell, Peripheral / complications
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell, Peripheral / diagnosis*
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell, Peripheral / genetics*
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell, Peripheral / immunology
  • Male
  • Paraneoplastic Syndromes / etiology*


  • Antigens, Surface
  • DNA Probes