Immunocompetent Patient With Primary Bone Marrow Hodgkin Lymphoma

Armaan Dhaliwal, Vanessa F. Eller, Jeffrey J. Pu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is a hematologic malignancy that comprises about 10% of all lymphomas with the most common type being classical HL (cHL). The typical clinical presentation of cHL involves multiple region lymphadenopathy and a chest mass found on imaging. However, not all patients present with the typical symptomology of cHL which poses a diagnostic challenge. Extranodal HL, especially primary bone marrow HL (PBMHL), has been described in immunocompromised patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). In this case report, we present a PBMHL case in an immunocompetent patient with no HIV exposure. We discuss a 51-year-old immunocompetent female who presented with 2 - 3 months of fever, confusion, generalized myalgias, and fatigue. She had no lymphadenopathy on physical exam. On further testing, the patient’s blood work demonstrated cytopenia and imaging confirmed no lymphadenopathy. Eventually, a bone marrow evaluation established her diagnosis of PBMHL. The patient expired after receiving one cycle of a modified chemotherapy regimen. This case illustrates that HL can be associated with an atypical clinical presentation which may delay diagnosis and treatment. PBMHL can occur in the normal population who is not immunocompromised nor HIV positive. In this situation, the best diagnostic approach is a thorough medical history, physical exam, and bone marrow aspiration and biopsy. Presence of constitutional symptoms without any lymphadenopathy or chest mass should raise the concern for possible atypical HL such as PBMHL. Accurate and timely identification of PBMHL allows for timely initiation of appropriate therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-431
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Medical Cases
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • Atypical hodgkin lymphoma
  • Hiv
  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Primary bone marrow hodgkin lymphoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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