Significance of epitrochlear lymph node involvement in Hodgkin disease

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Epitrochlear involvement in Hodgkin disease (HD) is a rare event, with only limited data available describing this unique presentation, its treatment, and long term outcome.


Between 1968 and 1997, 1180 patients with clinical stage (CS) IA-IIB HD were treated at the Harvard Longwood Area Hospitals, among whom 11 were identified to have presented with epitrochlear lymphadenopathy (1%). Together with 6 CS III-IV patients also with clinically involved epitrochlear lymph nodes at diagnosis, these 17 patients form the basis of the current study. The clinical characteristics, histopathologic distribution, and treatment details are described. Two radiation therapy techniques were used: the "single field" and "separate-field" techniques. The median dose to the epitrochlear region was 3600 centigrays. Survival outcome was calculated by the Kaplan-Meier method. The median follow-up was 17 years.


The actuarial 15-year freedom from recurrence, cause specific survival, and overall survival (OS) rates for the 17 patients were 70%, 88%, and 70%, respectively. Among the CS IA-IIB patients, the 15-year OS rates of the 1169 patients and 11 patients without and with epitrochlear involvement were 80% and 90%, respectively. Two of the 11 CS IA-IIB and 3 of the 6 CS III-IV patients experienced recurrence. None of the recurrences involved the epitrochlear or ipsilateral brachial region regardless of the treatment technique, and no complications from the local radiation therapy were observed.


Feasible and effective radiation therapy techniques are available for patients with HD with epitrochlear involvement. If appropriately treated, the prognosis of patients with this unique presentation appears to be similar to that of other HD patients.

Copyright 2001 American Cancer Society.