Hematologic malignancies of the gastrointestinal luminal tract

Abdom Radiol (NY). 2020 Oct;45(10):3007-3027. doi: 10.1007/s00261-019-02278-8.


Hematologic malignancies include several lymphoproliferative and myeloproliferative disorders, many of which are frequently encountered in current health care settings. These malignancies frequently affect the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, either by secondary extranodal or extramedullary extension to the GI tract, or as a primary process arising in the GI tract. In fact, the GI tract may represent the most common extranodal site of involvement in many of them, such as lymphoma. Furthermore, in the current era of improved cancer treatment and advanced transplant procedures with increased survival, it has been quite common to encounter GI involvement by these malignancies through the disease course. Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder following kidney transplantation, for example, very commonly involves the GI tract. Other conditions that can involve the GI tract include multiple myeloma, plasmacytoma, myeloid sarcoma, mastocytosis, and Castleman disease. Imaging diagnosis of these malignancies can be challenging, since they are much less common than primary GI cancers and both share many common imaging features as well. However, certain imaging features, particularly in combination with a matching clinical scenario, play a pivotal role in diagnosing these conditions and directing further evaluation. In this article, we review common and rare hematologic malignancies of the GI tract and discuss their pathophysiologic, clinical, and imaging features.

Keywords: Bowel lymphoma; Gastric DLBCL; Gastrointestinal malignancy; Hematologic malignancies; Lymphoma; MALT lymphoma; Mastocytosis; Multiple myeloma; Myeloid sarcoma; Plasmacytoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Hematologic Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans