Soft-Tissue Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase-Positive Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma in a Child Unmasked by COVID-19

Diego Alberto Lozano-Jaramillo, Esperanza Millan-Arreola, Oscar Omar Esquer-Cota, Jesus Manuel Lozano-Garcia, Miguel Alfonso Valenzuela-Espinoza


Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) is children’s most common mature T-cell neoplasm. The majority is positive for anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK). Initial presentation as a soft-tissue pelvic mass without nodal involvement is rare and can be easily misdiagnosed. We report a case of a 12-year-old male presenting with pain and movement restriction in the right extremity. Computed tomography (CT) scan revealed a solitary pelvic mass. Initial biopsy examination concluded rhabdomyosarcoma. After developing pediatric multisystemic inflammatory syndrome due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), central and peripheral lymph node enlargement appeared. New cervical adenopathy and pelvic mass biopsies were performed. Immunohistochemistry concluded an ALK-positive ALCL with a small-cell pattern. The patient was treated with brentuximab-based chemotherapy and eventually improved. Differential diagnosis of pelvic masses in children and adolescents must include ALCL. An inflammatory trigger may promote the appearance of a typical nodal disease, previously absent. Attention is warranted during histopathological examination to avoid diagnostic errors.

J Hematol. 2023;12(1):37-41


Anaplastic large cell lymphoma; Anaplastic lymphoma kinase; COVID-19; Rhabdomyosarcoma

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