Pancreatic Pathology Online

Pathology of Primary Pancreatic Lymphoma

Dr Sampurna Roy MD              


Primary neoplasms of the pancreas are most often adenocarcinoma.

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) involving the pancreas is less common but well documented.

Primary pancreatic Non-Hodgkin lymphoma predominantly involving the pancreas is a rare tumour and accounts for less than 0.7% of all pancreatic malignancies and 1% of extranodal lymphomas.

The expression "pancreatic lymphoma" has been used to describe both primary lymphoid neoplasms originating in the pancreatic parenchyma and tumours invading from a peri-pancreatic lymphadenopathy.

The majority of patients with pancreatic cancer,whether it is adenocarcinoma or lymphoma, present with a mass in the head of the gland.

Pancreatic lymphoma is often described as a large homogeneous mass with extra-pancreatic extension, with or without associated lymphadenopathy.

Less common presentations are masses in the body or tail, or more rarely diffuse involvement of the pancreas.

Percutaneous fine-needle aspiration (FNA) of the pancreas requires experienced cytopathologists as well as advanced immuno-histochemical assays to obtain a final diagnosis on a small amount of tissue.

Histopathological examination is usually mandatory to obtain a definitive diagnosis since symptoms and radiological features are quite similar to those of other pancreatic masses.

Follicular lymphoma is a rare subtype of primary pancreatic lymphoma.

In case of primary pancreatic lymphoma, surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy or radiotherapy can produce fairly good outcomes.


Further reading:

Follicular lymphoma of the pancreas: a case report and proposed new strategies for diagnosis and surgery of benign or low-grade malignant lesions of the head of the pancreas.

Primary pancreatic follicular lymphoma mimicking adenocarcinoma.

Problems in diagnosing lymphoma of the pancreas with computed tomography. A case report.

Problems in differentiating between pancreatic lymphoma and anaplastic carcinoma and their management.

Frequency of occurrence and characteristics of primary pancreatic lymphoma during endoscopic ultrasound guided fine needle aspiration: a retrospective study.

Primary pancreatic lymphoma: clinicopathological analysis of 19 cases from Japan and review of the literature.

Primary pancreatic lymphoma: a case report, literature review, and proposal for nomenclature.

Primary lymphoma of the pancreas.




Dr Sampurna Roy  MD

Consultant  Histopathologist (Kolkata - India)






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