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Hodgkin's Lymphoma and Paraneoplastic Phenomena in the Central Nervous System: A Case Report and Review of the Literature

By Marcus Vetter, Alexandar Tzankov, Andreas Engert, Matthias Mehling, Richard Herrmann and Christoph Rochlitz


A 25-year-old male patient presented to our Ear, Nose and Throat clinic with a history of nausea, vomiting, headache, vertigo and weight loss of 5 kg over the preceding 3 months. An enlarged cervical lymph node was detected at clinical examination. Lymph node biopsy showed nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin's lymphoma (NLPHL, nodular paragranuloma). Because of the neurological symptoms a cerebral MRI scan was performed and revealed an intense perivascular, bilateral, contrast-medium enhancing lesion of the temporal lobes suggestive of cerebral vasculitis. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis showed an increased number of mononuclear cells, but there was no indication for neurotropic viral or bacterial infections. EEG revealed a left temporal epileptic focus, and anti-epileptic therapy was initiated. NLPHL was treated with 2 cycles of ABVD chemotherapy and 20 Gy involved-field radiotherapy. Steroid therapy (prednisone 100 mg q.d.) for the presumed paraneoplastic neurological manifestation was started 1 week before chemotherapy and led to the rapid disappearance of complaints. Because of renewed onset of nausea and vertigo after 3 weeks of treatment with ABVD chemotherapy and 4 weeks of treatment with steroids, a follow-up brain MRI and EEG were performed and demonstrated complete disappearance of the ‘vasculitic’ changes without additional pathologic findings. Five months after therapy, the patient is without neurological symptoms and a PET-CT showed a complete remission. This case is a unique example of paraneoplastic central nervous system (CNS) involvement in a patient with newly diagnosed NLPHL. We present a review of the literature on paraneoplastic CNS symptoms in Hodgkin's lymphoma

Topics: Published: February 2011
Publisher: S. Karger AG
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Provided by: PubMed Central

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