We describe a rare case of thyroidal Epstein–Barr virus-positive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma of the elderly (EBV+DLBCLe) in which diagnosis was difficult and spontaneous esophageal fistula developed. A 79-year-old woman presented with acute swelling of the anterior neck with tenderness, general fatigue, and continual fever. Malignant lymphoma of the thyroid was suspected. Histologically, the thyroid lesion showed extensive necrosis, including a few Ziehl–Neelsen-positive substances. No evidence of tuberculosis was detected by any other examinations. While performing examinations, left recurrent nerve palsy and a tumorous lesion in the pharynx appeared. Computed tomography and gastrointestinal fiberscopy revealed esophageal fistula. Biopsy specimens from the pharyngeal lesion showed diffuse proliferation of large atypical lymphoid cells that were strongly positive for CD20 and EBV early RNAs. The final diagnosis was thyroidal EBV+DLBCLe with infiltration of surrounding organs. The esophageal fistula had healed 6 months after beginning treatment of EBV+DLBCLe.
- Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
- Esophageal fistula
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