Introduction: Malignant primary lymphoma represents only 1%–5% of all gastric tumours. Spontaneous gastric perforation in the absence of chemotherapy in these cases is extremely rare. The vast majority of primary gastric lymphomas have a B-cell phenotype that originates from mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue and primary gastric lymphomas with a T-cell phenotype are rarely reported. This report describes a case of a primary gastric T-cell malignant lymphoma associated to spontaneous perforation and peritonitis.
Case presentation: An 80-year-old woman referring 24 hours of abdominal pain associated to cognitive impairment consulted to our Emergency Department. Her past medical history revealed smoking, hypothyroidism, dilated cardiomyopathy, hypertension, celiac disease with poor adherence to gluten-free diet and a Non-Hodgkin T cell lymphoma associated to enteropathy in 2010. At physical examination, she presented with tachycardia, hypotension and abdominal tenderness. Lab test revealed low red cell count and an abdomen computed tomography scan showed pneumoperitoneum secondary to a large gastric perforation located in the anterior wall of the antrum. Urgent surgery was performed. At exploratory laparoscopy, a 5 cm perforation of the anterior wall of prepyloric antrum was observed associated to a 4-quadrant peritonitis. Conversion to open surgery was decided to perform an open antrectomy and Billroth II gastro-jejunostomy. The patient was transferred to ICU after surgery under mechanical respiratory assistance for closed monitoring but evolved with a cardiogenic shock and deceased on the first postoperative day. The final histopathological and immunohistochemical analysis reported enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma of gastric localisation with concomitant celiac disease.
Discussion: We present a rare case of a patient with a history of celiac disease who developed a gastric perforation secondary to an enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma of gastric localisation. To the best of authors’ knowledge, there have been reported less than 30 cases of spontaneous perforation of gastric lymphoma in the absence of chemotherapy in the last 35 years. Malignant gastric lymphoma, accounting only for 1% of primary gastric malignancies, is usually a diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Incidence of perforation of gastric lymphomas in patients receiving chemotherapy rounds 0.9%–1.1%. However, it is a rare condition in patients not receiving chemotherapy.
Conclusion: This is a rare case of a patient with an enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma of gastric localisation, who developed a spontaneous gastric perforation in the absence of chemotherapy. Despite it is a rare condition, it must be suspected in patients with a history of lymphoma in the context of acute abdominal pain.