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Leuk Lymphoma. 1997 Jul;26(3-4):359-68.

Nodular lymphocyte predominance Hodgkin's disease: long-term observation reveals a continuous pattern of recurrence.

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Division of Hematology, IRCCS Policlinico S. Matteo, Pavia, Italy.


We evaluated the presenting clinical characteristics and outcome of 68 patients with nodular lymphocyte predominance Hodgkin's disease (NLP-HD), in order to delineate the pattern of evolution of the disease. The male to female ratio was 46/22 and median age 35 yrs (range, 14-86). Eight patients had a history of benign hyperplasia on lymph node biopsies performed 6 to 36 months before the diagnosis of NLP-HD. Early stage disease accounted for 75% of cases. One patient had a coexistent non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). Treatment was as follows: radiotherapy in 26, chemotherapy in 23, combined modality in 19. CR rate was 93% (63/68). 18 patients relapsed as HD and 5 developed NHL. The cumulative risk of NHL was 9% at 10 yrs. During remission, 4 patients had 5 episodes of follicular hyperplasia histologically documented. Overall survival rate was 71% at 10 yrs and and 63% at 15 yrs. Freedom from progression (FFP) declined from 67% at 5 yrs to 45% at 10 yrs, because of late relapses. Localized disease predicted for a better FFP (p = 0.01), but was not associated with a reduced risk of recurrence over time. NLP-HD is characterized by an indolent course with a constant pattern of relapse over time, also in patients with early stage disease at diagnosis. In addition to relapse as NLP-HD, patients may evolve into a NHL or develop benign lymph nodal hyperplasia. Careful long-term follow up is needed for these patients.

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