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Case report
Hodgkin’s lymphoma with HLH and complete remission with brentuximab-based therapy
  1. Blaine Knox1,
  2. Daulath Singh2,
  3. Hanh Mai1 and
  4. Kamran Mirza1
  1. 1Department of Cancer Biology, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, Illinois, USA
  2. 2Internal Medicine, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, Illinois, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Blaine Knox; blaine.knox{at}


A 63-year-old man presented to the hospital with generalised weakness, fatigue and a 22 kg weight loss 4 months after being diagnosed with sarcoidosis on a mediastinal lymph node biopsy, with minimal improvement in symptoms on prednisone and methotrexate therapy. On arrival, he was found to have a haemoglobin of 57 g/L and platelet count of 82×109/L. Further work-up revealed six of eight diagnostic criteria for haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH): fever >38.9°C, splenomegaly, cytopaenia, hypertriglyceridaemia, haemophagocytosis and elevated ferritin >31 000 ng/mL. He was also found to have Epstein-Barr viraemia with greater than 17 000 copies. Bone marrow biopsy showed the presence of haemophagocytic histiocytes and evidence of classic Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was started on HLH-94 protocol. Later treatment was switched to lymphoma-directed therapy and he finished six cycles of A+AVD (brentuximab vedotin, doxorubicin, vinblastine and dacarbazine) with end-of-treatment positron emission tomography/CT and bone marrow negative for lymphoma.

  • haematology (drugs and medicines)
  • haematology (incl blood transfusion)

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  • Contributors BK and DS are responsible for the majority of the acquisition, analysis and interpretation of data, as well as writing the majority of the paper. KM is responsible for providing the figures and interpretation of these as they relate to the initial diagnosis and the subsequent correct diagnosis. KM also helped provide additional literary sources. HM helped plan, conduct, edit and approve the final version, providing clinical insight and accuracy of haematological issues.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.