Burkitt Lymphoma Presenting as Perforated Appendicitis

Am Surg. 2021 Jul 4;31348211029854. doi: 10.1177/00031348211029854. Online ahead of print.


Appendicitis is the most common indication for an emergent abdominal operation in the pediatric population. Fewer than .015% of patients who undergo appendectomy for presumed appendicitis are diagnosed with primary lymphoma after evaluation of pathology specimen. 1 Of these primary lymphomas, 29.5% are Burkitt lymphoma. Burkitt lymphoma is an aggressive B-cell lymphoma characterized by translocation and dysregulation of the c-Myc gene. Intraabdominal extranodal Burkitt lymphoma has a polymorphic presentation that includes bowel obstruction, intussusception, and appendicitis. Here we report a case of an adolescent patient who was initially admitted for medical management of perforated appendicitis but was diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma during his hospital course.

Keywords: Burkitt lymphoma; complicated appendicitis; pediatric.