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Abstract

We assessed the relationship of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) serology to the presence or absence of EBV genome in 39 cases of Hodgkin's disease (HD). Biopsies from patients included in 2 previous published studies, I involving patients from the United States (eastern Massachusetts) and I from Denmark, were evaluated for EBV RNA (EBER-1) and latent membrane protein (LMP-I). The presence of EBV in Reed-Sternberg cells in the biopsies correlated with the histologic subtype of HD (mixed cellularity and lymphocyte depletion) but not with IgG antibody titers against the viral capsid antigen (VCA). These data suggest that, unlike Burkitt's lymphoma, the IgG antibody against VCA is not predictive of the presence or absence of EBV in Reed-Sternberg cells in HD. The predictive value of other antibodies should be evaluated.