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Am J Surg Pathol. 1993 Apr;17(4):364-74.

Coexistence of nodular lymphocyte predominance Hodgkin's disease and Hodgkin's disease of the usual type.

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Department of Pathology, Stanford University Medical Center, California.


Recent literature suggests that usual Hodgkin's disease (nodular sclerosing and mixed cellularity types or UHD) and nodular lymphocyte predominance Hodgkin's disease (NLPHD) may be distinct clinical and pathologic entities. Thus, coexistence of NLPHD and UHD in the same patient is expected to be rare. We undertook a review of cases accessioned as NLPHD and UHD in the Laboratory of Surgical Pathology at Stanford University Hospital between January 1980 and May 1992 and found five patients with UHD that predated, followed, or coexisted with lesions histologically typical of NLPHD. All of the patients were male with ages ranging from 10 to 30 years at presentation (median, 22 years; mean, 22.2 years). The sites initially involved by disease were primarily peripheral lymph nodes in the region of the head and neck: cervical (three), supraclavicular (one), submandibular (one). One patient presented with mixed-cellularity Hodgkin's disease (MCHD), two with nodular sclerosis Hodgkin's disease including the cellular phase, one with NLPHD, and the remaining patient presented with a composite malignancy comprising MCHD and NLPHD. Development of the second lymphoma was associated with a somewhat more variable distribution of nodal involvement. The morphologic features in each biopsy specimen resembled either typical NLPHD or UHD, except for one case in which cells with features of both Reed-Sternberg cells and lymphocytic and histiocytes cells were identified. However, the immunophenotypic profiles obtained with a panel of monoclonal antibodies remained distinct for all cases studied. None of the cases showed reactivity with antibodies against the Epstein-Barr-virus latent membrane protein. Thus, NLPHD and UHD maintain a distinct phenotype, even when occurring in the same patient. A second conclusion is that the utility of Leu-7 (CD57) reactivity in distinguishing NLPHD applies to problematic as well as classic cases. Finally, Epstein-Barr virus is not implicated in NLPHD cases associated with UHD.

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