Primary gastrointestinal lymphoma

World J Gastroenterol. 2011 Feb 14;17(6):697-707. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v17.i6.697.


Gastrointestinal tract is the most common extranodal site involved by lymphoma with the majority being non-Hodgkin type. Although lymphoma can involve any part of the gastrointestinal tract, the most frequent sites in order of its occurrence are the stomach followed by small intestine and ileocecal region. Gastrointestinal tract lymphoma is usually secondary to the widespread nodal diseases and primary gastrointestinal tract lymphoma is relatively rare. Gastrointestinal lymphomas are usually not clinically specific and indistinguishable from other benign and malignant conditions. Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma is the most common pathological type of gastrointestinal lymphoma in essentially all sites of the gastrointestinal tract, although recently the frequency of other forms has also increased in certain regions of the world. Although some radiological features such as bulky lymph nodes and maintenance of fat plane are more suggestive of lymphoma, they are not specific, thus mandating histopathological analysis for its definitive diagnosis. There has been a tremendous leap in the diagnosis, staging and management of gastrointestinal lymphoma in the last two decades attributed to a better insight into its etiology and molecular aspect as well as the knowledge about its critical signaling pathways.

Keywords: Celiac disease; Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; Epstein-Barr virus; Gastrointestinal lymphoma; Helicobacter pylori.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / therapy
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / diagnosis
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / pathology*
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / physiopathology*
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / therapy
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Radiotherapy
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Antineoplastic Agents