Primary lymphoma of the gallbladder is an exceedingly rare disease. We experienced an asymptomatic case of primary non-Hodgkin's lymphoma of the gallbladder in a 55-year-old woman in whom laparoscopic cholecystectomy made a definite diagnosis. Abdominal computed tomography revealed a 4-cm gallbladder tumor with markedly enlarged lymph nodes in the retropancreatic area. Despite the marked involvement of lymph nodes, serum levels of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and carbohydrate antigen (CA) 19-9 were not elevated. The discrepancy between the imaging findings and the patient's mild clinical presentation led us to suspect that the tumor was a lymphoma. We examined serum markers of lymphoma, revealing slight elevations of interleukin (IL)-2 receptor and thymidine kinase. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy for a total biopsy was performed successfully, and the results of intraoperative frozen-section examination led us to have a high suspicion of malignant lymphoma. The final diagnosis was large diffuse B-cell lymphoma of the gallbladder with a positive CD20 antibody reaction. The patient received postoperative chemotherapy with R-CHOP (rituximab, 500 mg; cyclophosphamide, 1000 mg; adriamycin, 68 mg; vincristine, 1.9 mg; and prednisone, 80 mg) starting on postoperative day 12. She achieved complete remission and is still in complete remission 3 years and 2 months after the cholecystectomy. In conclusion, gallbladder lymphoma should be added to the differential diagnosis of gallbladder tumors, especially when the imaging findings and clinical presentation are not consistent with typical signs of gallbladder carcinoma, and laparoscopic cholecystectomy is helpful for the confirmation of suspicious cases.
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