CT features of peripheral T-cell lymphoma in the gastrointestinal tract in Chinese population and literature review

J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol. 2012 Apr;56(2):143-50. doi: 10.1111/j.1754-9485.2011.02329.x.


Introduction: The aim of the study was to retrospectively investigate the CT features in peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL) of the gastrointestinal tract in the Chinese population.

Methods: Computed tomography scans of 15 histopathologically proven cases of PTCL involving the gastrointestinal tract were retrospectively reviewed for characteristics such as sites, multiplicity, morphological features, the pattern and degree of contrast enhancement, lymphadenopathy, involvement of other organs and complications such as perforation, intussusceptions, ascites and so on. By reviewing the literature, CT findings of PTCL involving the gastrointestinal tract were compared with that involved by B-cell lymphoma.

Results: PTCLs involved the stomach and intestine in six and nine patients, respectively. Multiplicity was seen in seven patients, and solitary involvement was seen in eight. At CT, wall thickening was the predominant finding in all cases with an exception of one intestinal PTCL case presented as polypoid mass. Among the 14 patients, the gastric or bowel wall thickening was mild (<10 mm) in three, moderate (10-20 mm) in 10 and severe (>20 mm) in one. Nine cases demonstrated mild homogeneous enhancement, whereas six showed mild heterogeneous enhancement. Lymphadenopathy was present in eight patients, five of which were non-bulky (diameter <5 cm) and diffuse type and the rest (three) were non-bulky and localised type. Other organs were involved in four patients. Perforation as complication was evident in one gastric and five intestinal lymphomas (55.6%). Among the nine intestinal PTCLs, seven of the patients were male (77.9%) and the rest (two) were female with a median age of 37.1 years old. Intestinal PTCLs predominantly involved colon (n = 5). Other sites of involvement were ileum (n = 1), ileocaecum (n = 1), ileum and ileocaecum (n = 1) and entire bowel segment from distal ileum to transverse colon (n = 1).

Conclusion: PTCLs have some distinguishing radiological features from B-cell type gastrointestinal lymphomas as mild or moderate gastric or bowel wall thickening and higher incidence of perforation with multiplicity. In China, intestinal PTCLs are not usually associated with coeliac disease and commonly present in a young male population with colon being the most frequent site of involvement.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • China / epidemiology
  • Contrast Media
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diatrizoate Meglumine
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / complications
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Humans
  • Iohexol / analogs & derivatives
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell / complications
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell / epidemiology
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, Spiral Computed / methods*


  • Contrast Media
  • Diatrizoate Meglumine
  • Iohexol
  • iopromide