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Keywords:

  • Hodgkin's disease (HD);
  • Infradiaphragmatic;
  • Localized

Abstract

Between 1969 and 1982, 23 previously untreated patients with Hodgkin's disease (HD) confined to infradiaphragmatic sites were treated at St Bartholomew's Hospital. The distinguishing clinical characteristics of the patient population were a male: female ratio of 20:3. The mean age was 39 years, which was significantly older (P<0·05) than the mean age of patients with supradiaphragmatic HD (32 years) referred during the same period. Sixteen patients underwent formal pathological staging while one additional patient underwent a diagnostic laparotomy without splenectomy. The final pre-treatment stages were PS IA: 5; PS IIA: 11; CS IIA: 1; PS IIB: 1; CS IIB 5. Splenic involvement correlated closely with the number of nodal sites involved, being detected in 1 / 7 patients with one site only compared with 8/9 with more (P<0·001).

Complete remission (CR) was achieved in 21 (91 per cent) patients: 12/12 following ‘inverted Y’ radiotherapy (RT) and 9/11 following combination chemotherapy. Twenty patients remain alive and 18 continue without recurrence of HD between 15 months and 12 years. All patients who failed to enter CR or who relapsed had presented with three or more sites of involvement or with constitutional (‘B’) symptoms. These results confirm the generally good prognosis of this uncommon presentation of HD and also suggest that prognosis is determined by the bulk of disease rather than its precise anatomical localization, provided that appropriate therapy is administered.