The first case of methotrexate-associated lymphoproliferative disorder presenting as follicular T-cell lymphoma

Pathol Int. 2021 Nov;71(11):765-770. doi: 10.1111/pin.13155. Epub 2021 Sep 2.


This is the first case of follicular T-cell lymphoma (FTCL) presenting as methotrexate-associated lymphoproliferative disorders (MTX-LPDs). A 69-year-old man treated rheumatoid arthritis with methotrexate presented with cervical swelling, hoarseness and fever. Imaging studies revealed multiple lymphadenopathy and lymphoma was suspected. Lymph node biopsy was performed to confirm the diagnosis. Pathologically, the lymph node was composed of atypical lymphocytes with a follicular growth pattern and area of necrosis. Immunohistochemical examination showed the atypical lymphocytes were positive for CD3, CD4, programmed cell death protein 1, and inducible T-cell co-stimulator. These findings are consistent with FTCL. During hospitalization, the patient's fever subsided and cervical lymphadenopathy improved, probably due to discontinuation of MTX. Here we presented the first case of FTCL presenting as MTX-LPDs. The T-cell phenotype MTX-LPDs are relatively rare and accounts for only 3.4%-6.3% of all MTX-LPD cases. Therefore, detailed clinicopathological features have not been clarified sufficiently. It is hoped that similar cases should be accumulated and studied to better understand the clinical and pathological features of this condition.

Keywords: T-cell lymphoma; follicular T-cell lymphoma; lymphoproliferative disorders; malignant lymphoma; methotrexate.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antirheumatic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell / chemically induced*
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell / diagnosis
  • Male
  • Methotrexate / adverse effects*


  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Methotrexate