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Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2013 Mar;17(1):53-7. doi: 10.1007/s10006-012-0321-1. Epub 2012 Apr 18.

Multiple primary enoral soft tissue manifestations of a Hodgkin lymphoma--case report and literature review.

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial and Plastic Surgery, University Medical Centre of the Johannes Gutenberg-University, Augustusplatz 2, Mainz, 55131, Germany.



Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) are lymphoproliferative neoplasms, histologically comprising of mononuclear and multinucleated Hodgkin and Reed Sternberg cells (HRS). About 4 % of all lymphatic malignancies of the head and neck are HL. The typical disease presents itself as a nodal lesion. Extranodal, enoral soft tissue involvement by HL is very rare.


A 73-year-old man with a suspect, ulcerating lesion in the left retromolar region of the mandible was assigned to our hospital. Prior anti-inflammatory therapy has been without success. Subsequently, three biopsies were taken which could only show inflammation. Finally, two biopsies from the left retromolar region and the left inner cheek showed HRS cells with positive expressions of CD15 and CD30 corresponding to a Hodgkin lymphoma. No lymphatic node or bone involvement could be detected. The patient was designated to receive radio-chemotherapy, but died 3 weeks after diagnosis of multiple organ failure. In a literature review, together with this report, nine cases were found concerning primary HL of the oral mucosa. Accordingly, this is the first case of primary multiple extranodal HL in the oral mucosa in absence of lymphatic node involvement.


Neither clinical features nor radiological appearances of HL presenting as primary enoral lesions are pathognomonic. Especially when only small biopsy specimens are available, histological diagnosis remains challenging, may lead to a delay in therapy and may result in a significant worse prognosis.

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