Extracavitary primary effusion lymphoma recurring with syphilis in an HIV-infected patient


BMJ Case Rep. 2020 Nov 4;13(11):e235204. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2020-235204.


A 59-year-old Caucasian man infected with HIV, in remission from human herpes virus-8-positive extracavitary primary effusion lymphoma (EC-PEL), presented to a sexual health clinic with fever and rectal pain 10 weeks after a single episode of receptive anal sexual intercourse with another man. He was initially treated for a presumptive diagnosis of lymphogranuloma venereum proctitis, then for syphilis on positive serology. Rectosigmoidoscopy revealed a single ulcerated rectal mass; endoscopic

biopsies confirmed the recurrence of EC-PEL. The patient received chemotherapy and went into remission. This is the first reported case of EC-PEL occurring synchronously with early syphilis, and specifically at the site of inoculation, which can be a major diagnostic challenge since both conditions may present with lymphadenopathy, mucosal involvement and constitutional symptoms. We reviewed the literature for similar cases and hypothesised that syphilis may have triggered the recurrence of this rare lymphoma.