Burkitt lymphoma of the oral cavity: an atypical presentation

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Burkitt lymphoma (BL) is an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin B-cell lymphoma with 3 variants: endemic, sporadic, and immunodeficiency-associated types. The sporadic form, most commonly involving the abdomen and ileocecal region, presents as an abdominal mass, rarely presenting in the orofacial region. A 36-year-old Indian female presented to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for evaluation of a persistent intraoral swelling ulceration of the lower right mandibular alveolar ridge with minimal bony invasion. Progressive systemic symptoms of fatigue, weakness, and fever developed without resolution following treatment for a presumed odontogenic infection in the 4 weeks before presentation. An incisional biopsy revealed a diffuse proliferation of intermediate- to large-sized lymphocytes with multiple small peripheral nucleoli, scant cytoplasm, and nuclear pleomorphism. Nearly all cells displayed Ki67 expression. A final diagnosis of BL was rendered following confirmation of a cMYC translocation by fluorescence in situ hybridization. This article presents a case of the sporadic form of BL with atypical presentation clinically and morphologically, primarily involving the oral soft tissue.

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