Clinical characteristics of primary intestinal NK/T cell lymphoma, nasal type: Case series and review of the literature

Pathol Res Pract. 2018 Aug;214(8):1081-1086. doi: 10.1016/j.prp.2018.05.013. Epub 2018 May 25.


Background: Primary intestinal NK/T cell lymphoma is rare but aggressive and exhibits a poor prognosis. Little is known about its clinical characteristics because few studies with small sample sizes have been reported.

Aims: To provide clinicopathological features and endoscopic findings and to summarize the treatment outcomes of primary intestinal NK/T cell lymphoma to improve our understanding of this disease.

Methods: Between January 2011 to December 2016, 13 patients with confirmed primary gastrointestinal NK/T cell lymphoma at our center were described, and an updated literature review was provided.

Results: In this series of 13 cases, 69.23% were men, the median age was 39 years, and the median survival was 6 months. The common clinical manifestations included abdominal pain (76.92%) and gastrointestinal bleeding (46.15%). Lymphomas were common in the large intestine (69.23%). In 76.92% of patients, the clinical staging was stage I, and all 13 patients manifested ulcerative lesions and no tumor mass on endoscopy. The clinical characteristics of primary intestinal NK/T cell lymphomas were similar to results in existing literature.

Conclusion: Intestinal NK/T cell lymphoma shows nonspecific clinical features and poor prognosis, which is mainly expressed as ulcers on endoscopy. Emergency surgery may be an adverse prognostic factor of lymphoma, since it is prone to progress toward gastrointestinal perforation.

Keywords: Clinicopathologic; Intestinal neoplasm; NK/T lymphoma; Primary.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Intestinal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Lymphoma, Extranodal NK-T-Cell / mortality
  • Lymphoma, Extranodal NK-T-Cell / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult