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Rheumatology (Oxford). 2007 May;46(5):830-2. Epub 2007 Jan 25.

Hodgkin's lymphoma in systemic lupus erythematosus.

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  • 1Division of Clinical Epidemiology, Montreal General Hospital, Montreal, QC, Canada.



In systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), there is a well-documented increased risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), but little is known about the risk of Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL). The purpose of our work was to describe the phenomenon of HL in SLE.


A multi-site cohort of 9547 SLE subjects was assembled; HL cases were ascertained through cancer registry linkage, and the standardized incidence ratio (SIR) for HL was determined. We also performed a literature search for HL cases in SLE, and compared these with our sample. Finally, we pooled results from our cohort study with two large population-based cohort studies providing SIR estimates for HL in SLE.


Five cases of HL occurred in our SLE cohort during the observation interval, for an SIR of 2.4 (95% CI 0.8, 5.5). The literature review documented 13 HL case reports developing in patients with SLE. A pooled analysis combining our data with the other large cohort studies yielded a standardized incidence ratio of 3.16 (95% CI, 1.63-5.51) for HL in SLE.


Data suggest that risk in SLE is increased not only for NHL, but also for other malignancies arising from B-lymphocytes, including HL.

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