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Lymphoma, Enteropathy-Associated T-Cell (EATL) 

EATL of Jejunum.Courtesy pubcan.org

EATL of Jejunum with Thickening And Yellowish Ulcers Visible. Courtesy pubcan.org

What Is Enteropathy-Associated T-Cell Lymphoma?

Enteropathy associated T-cell lymphoma (EATL), although rare, is a tumor of intraepithelial lymphocytes. It is the most common primary gastrointestinal T-cell lymphoma and is characterized by its aggressive course and poor prognosis.

Primary means this malignancy starts out in the intestinal wall rather than spreading to it from a tumor somewhere else in the  body.

EATL usually affects the jejunum and grossly (visible to the eye) appears as multiple ulcers causing circumferential thickening of affected bowel wall without the formation of definite tumor masses most commonly in the proximal small bowel. As such, patients may present with intestinal perforation, obstruction or hemorrhage.1

Mesenteric lymph nodes in the abdomen are commonly involved.2

Q: How is EATL diagnosed?

A: Work-up of EATL must include immunohistology, T-cell flow cytometry, T-cell rearrangement and adequate imaging with CT and PET scanning.3

Management of EATL requires a combination of early diagnosis and treatment by surgical resection followed by chemotherapy to achieve treatment success. Overall however, the treatment completion rate remains at 50% and EATL carries a poor prognosis with a 5-year survival rate of <20%.4

What Is Enteropathy-Associated T-Cell Lymphoma In Celiac Disease and/or Gluten Sensitivity?


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  1. Pun AH, Kasmeridis H, Rieger N, Loganathan A. Enteropathy associated T-cell lymphoma presenting with multiple episodes of small bowel hemorrhage and perforation. J Surg Case Rep. 2014 Mar 20;2014(3). pii: rju013. doi: 10.1093/jscr/rju013. 

  2. Yang DH, Myung SJ, Chang HS, et al. A case of enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma presenting with recurrent hematochezia. Korean Journal of Gastroenterology = Taehan Sohwagi Hakhoe Chi. Dec 2003;42(6):527-32. 

  3. Meijer JWR, Mulder CJJ, Goerres MG, Boot H, Schweizer JJ. Coeliac disease and (extra)intestinal T-cell lymphomas: definition, diagnosis and treatment. Scandanavian Journal of Gastroenterology. Dec 2004;39(Suppl 241):78,7p. 

  4. Pun AH, Kasmeridis H, Rieger N, Loganathan  Enteropathy associated T-cell lymphoma presenting with multiple episodes of small bowel hemorrhage and perforation.A. J Surg Case Rep. 2014 Mar 20;2014(3). pii: rju013. doi: 10.1093/jscr/rju013. 

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