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Non-Hodgkin lymphoma presenting as bilateral tonsillar hypertrophy: Case report

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April 1, 2010
by Sardar U. Khan, DLO, FCPS, FRCS(Ire), Cyril Kenefick, FRCS, FRCS(Edin), Gerard O'Leary, FRCS(Edin), FRCS(Ire), and James J. Lucey, FRCPath


We describe the case of a 57-year-old man who was referred to us with persistent sore throat, dysphagia, and enlarged tonsils. He had not responded to earlier treatment with antibiotic therapy and other routine measures. In view of the persistent nature of the patient's symptoms and the tonsillar hypertrophy, we decided to perform a tonsillectomy and to send the excised specimens for pathologic analysis. Histologic evaluation identified non-Hodgkin lymphoma in both tonsils. The patient was treated with postoperative chemo- and radiotherapy, and he was free of symptoms during 18 months of follow-up. To the best of our knowledge, only 4 cases of bilateral non-Hodgkin lymphoma of the tonsils have been reported in the English-language literature. We also discuss the importance of histologic analysis of excised tonsil tissue in selected cases.

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