Young immunocompetent patient with oropharyngeal plasmablastic lymphoma

O. Peetermans, A. L. Van de Velde, A. Dendooven, J. Huyskens, A. P. Gadisseur, P. Pauwels, P. M. Parizel, J. Peetermans, P. H. Van de Heyning, O. M. Vanderveken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Young immunocompetent patient with oropharyngeal plasmablastic lymphoma. Background: Plasmablastic lymphoma (PBL) is a rare tumour that most commonly occurs in the oral cavity in immunocompromised patients.

Case report: A 35-year-old man presented with symptoms suggesting obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS). Fiberoptic nasopharyngoscopy, contrast-enhanced computed tomography, and drug-induced sleep endoscopy revealed a mass in the oropharynx that completely obstructed the upper airway. Direct laryngoscopy was performed, and the lesion was excised using a CO2 laser. Anatomopathological examination and flow cytometric differentiation established a diagnosis of plasmablastic lymphoma (PBL). Postoperative chemotherapy resulted in complete response.

Conclusions: Extra-oral PBL is very rare. This is the first published report of oropharyngeal PBL in an immunocompetent patient. This case emphasizes the importance of considering PBL as a differential diagnosis when an oropharyngeal tumour is present. Clinical ENT examination should include fiberoptic nasopharyngoscopy to detect any head and neck mass that may cause OSAS-related symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-155
Number of pages5
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


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