Severe Gastrointestinal Complications Affect Quality of Life in Patients with Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma

Severe gastrointestinal complications (GICs) negatively impact quality of life in patients with primary gastrointestinal diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (PGI-DLBCL), according to a study published in Cancer Management and Research.

In this retrospective analysis, researchers assessed 148 patients with PGI-DLBCL who were admitted between August 1994 and May 2018. Subsequently, they recorded clinical characteristics of gastrointestinal bleeding (GIB), gastrointestinal obstruction (GIO), and gastrointestinal perforation (GIP) before and after chemotherapy.

According to the results, more than 56% of the population of interest presented with GICs, and they included GIB, GIO, GIP, and multiple complications. The results showed that more than 22% of the GICs occurred following chemotherapy, mostly during the first four cycles.

Researchers noted that the most common clinical manifestations of patients with GICs were abdominal pain or discomfort (79.8%), hematemesis or melena (22.6%), and abnormal bowel habits (17.9%). Also, patients with Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group score ≥2, tumor mass ≥10 cm, or intestinal involvement had significantly higher risk of severe GICs as initial manifestations “The prognosis of patients was significantly worsened by GIP, GIB, or multiple complications after chemotherapy (P<0.05). GIB at presentation or GIO before or after chemotherapy had no prognostic value (both P>0.05),” the researchers wrote of the results.

They concluded, “GICs adversely affect the quality of life, prolong the length of hospitalization, and shorten the long-term survival of patients with PGI-DLBCL.”