Mucosa-Associated Lymphoid Tissue Lymphomas (MALTomas) Clinical Presentation

Updated: Jan 21, 2022
  • Author: Sara J Grethlein, MD, MBA, FACP; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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History and Physical Examination

The median age of onset for mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphomas (MALTomas) is 65 years. According to some epidemiologic studies, MALTomas are slightly more common in females than in males and are more common in whites than in blacks.

Most patients with MALTomas have no physical findings; lymphadenopathy is rare. When symptoms of MALTomas are present, they are nonspecific and are related to the organs involved. Gastric MALToma symptoms may mimic those of peptic ulcer disease or gastritis. Nonspecific signs and symptoms that may occur in patients with gastric MALTomas include the following:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Low-grade fevers
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Tarry stools
  • Epigastric pain
  • Weight loss
  • Shortness of breath

Recurrent respiratory infections may be observed in some patients, especially in patients with pulmonary MALTomas. Patients with conjunctival MALTomas may present with blurry vision or visual-field defects. Patients with MALTomas often have a history of an associated autoimmune disease.