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Int J Surg Case Rep. 2012;3(8):368-71. doi: 10.1016/j.ijscr.2012.04.013. Epub 2012 Apr 27.

Colonic lymphoma presenting acutely with perforated colo-splenic fistula.

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  • 1General Surgery Division, Department of Surgery, King Fahad Specialist Hospital, Dammam 31444, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia.



Primary colonic lymphoma is rare. It comprises less than 1% of large bowel malignancies. Affected patients often present with non-specific vague symptoms with subsequent delays in diagnosis and management.


An immuno-competent 35-year-old male presented with left iliac fossa pain, fever and constipation. Clinical examination revealed left-sided abdominal peritonism. After the initial radiological and endoscopic investigations, a provisional diagnosis of a localized perforation of a splenic flexure diverticulum was made and ultrasound-guided percutaneous drainage of the abscess was performed. The patient failed to settle on conservative treatment and therefore exploratory laparotomy was carried out. An inflammatory phlegmon consisting of a left paracolic gutter abscess, the spleen and the splenic flexure of the colon was resected en-bloc and a primary colo-colic anastomosis was performed. His operative recovery was complicated by wound infection which was treated conservatively. The histopathology revealed colo-splenic fistula secondary to a perforated colonic non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The spleen contained multiple metastatic lymphomatous deposits. He was started on chemotherapy and remained well at 5-year follow up.


Colon non-Hodgkin's lymphoma may present initially with an acute abdomen due to perforation. It mimics any acute surgical condition. Perforation and fistulaization into the spleen is very rare.


This case highlights the delay and difficulty in diagnosing primary colonic lymphoma without resorting to surgical resection.

Copyright © 2012 Surgical Associates Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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