Although almost all primary colorectal lymphomas are of B-cell lineage in Western countries, primary colorectal T-cell lymphomas are not uncommon in the East. The aim of this study was to review the clinical characteristics and treatment outcomes of primary colorectal lymphomas, with special emphasis on the differences between T-cell and B-cell lymphomas. Ninety-five cases of primary colorectal lymphomas that satisfied Dawson's criteria were identified from the clinical databases of 13 university hospitals in Korea. The mean age at the time of presentation was 51.1 years and the male:female ratio was 64:31. The clinical information, including endoscopic and histological characteristics, was retrospectively analyzed. Of the primary colorectal lymphomas, 78 cases (82.1%) were of B-lineage and 17 cases (17.9%) were of T-cell lineage. Patients with T-cell lymphomas presented at a younger age than patients with B-cell lymphomas (42.8 vs 52.9 years, respectively; P = 0.016). The most common presenting symptom was abdominal pain (87.1%) for B-cell lymphomas, whereas hematochezia or night fever was more common for T-cell lymphomas (52.9% and 35.3%, respectively). The most common endoscopic type was fungating mass (54.0%) for B-cell lymphomas and ulcerative/ulcero-infiltrative lesions (80.0%) for T-cell lymphomas. Intussusception was more common in B-cell lymphomas than in T-cell lymphomas (30.8% vs 5.9%, respectively; P = 0.035), but perforation was more common in T-cell lymphomas than in B-cell lymphomas (23.5% vs 3.8%, respectively; P = 0.005). The prognosis was significantly worse for T-cell lymphomas than for B-cell lymphomas (P = 0.002). Primary colorectal T-cell lymphomas are characterized by multifocal ulcerative lesions in relatively young patients, a high rate of hematochezia, fever, or perforation, and a poor prognosis even for cases of localized disease.
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