The authors report the clinical, pathological and immunological features of a case of T-lymphoblastic lymphoma presenting with protein-losing enteropathy. There was extensive multifocal involvement of the duodenum, jejunum and ileum. The mediastinum was not enlarged; the peripheral blood picture and bilateral bone marrow trephine biopsies were unremarkable. The tumor cells were positive for terminal deoxynucleotide transferase, CD3, CD2, CD7 and CD10; they were negative for CD1, CD5, CD4, CD8 and HLA-DR. The immunophenotype was that of an immature thymic T-cell. Monocytic and B-cell markers were negative. Despite initial dose reduction in chemotherapy, the patient still developed massive intestinal hemorrhage and succumbed 2 wks after treatment. Postmortem examination confirmed absence of thymic involvement. The overall picture strongly suggests a primary intestinal origin of this T-lymphoblastic lymphoma which contradicts the conventional wisdom that T-lymphoblastic lymphoma arises in the thymus from primitive cortical lymphocytes before rapidly disseminating.