Hodgkin Lymphoma Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Sep 22, 2023
  • Author: Bradley W Lash, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

Other conditions to consider in the differential diagnosis of Hodgkin lymphoma include the following:

Because Hodgkin lymphoma is considered a curable malignancy and the differential diagnosis is broad, medicolegal problems may arise from failure to diagnose the disease in a timely manner, possibly due to the following factors:

  • The misinterpretation of B symptoms

  • A lack of follow-up for abnormal chest radiographs or physical examination findings

  • A missed pathologic diagnosis because a needle biopsy was obtained rather than an excisional lymph node biopsy

Occasionally, Hodgkin lymphoma can present as hemophagocytic syndrome (hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis). [35] The hemophagocytic syndrome may be more prevalent in patients with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) antigen expression and has the following characteristics:

  • Pancytopenia

  • Fever

  • Hepatosplenomegaly with liver function test abnormalities

  • Elevated serum levels of ferritin and triglycerides

  • Phagocytosis of hematopoietic lineage cells by benign macrophages

Differential Diagnoses