Clinical characteristics of adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma infiltration in the gastrointestinal tract

BMC Gastroenterol. 2020 Sep 14;20(1):298. doi: 10.1186/s12876-020-01438-1.


Background: Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL) is a peripheral T-cell malignancy caused by human T-cell leukemia virus type 1. The clinical course of ATLL is very heterogeneous, and many organs, including the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, can be involved. However, there are few detailed reports on ATLL infiltration in the GI tract. We investigated the clinical characteristics of ATLL infiltration in the GI tract.

Methods: This retrospective observational single-center study included 40 consecutive ATLL patients who underwent GI endoscopy. The patients' demographic and clinical characteristics and endoscopic findings were analyzed retrospectively. Patients with ATLL who were diagnosed by histological examination were divided into two groups based on GI tract infiltration.

Results: Multivariate analysis revealed that the absence of skin lesions was significantly associated with GI infiltration (P < 0.05). Furthermore, the infiltration group tended to have similar macroscopic lesions in the upper and lower GI tracts, such as diffuse type, tumor-forming type, and giant-fold type.

Conclusions: GI endoscopy may be considered for ATLL patients without skin lesions.

Keywords: Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma; GI tract infiltration; Irregular blood vessels; Obscure glandular structures; Skin lesion.