What is the role of CT scanning in the diagnosis of Hodgkin lymphoma (Hodgkin disease)?

Updated: Sep 12, 2018
  • Author: Bradley W Lash, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

Historically, posteroanterior (PA) and lateral chest x-rays have been used to measure mediastinal mass in relationship to thoracic diameter. This approach remains the gold standard, but with the availability of cross-sectional imaging in CT scanning, chest radiography has been largely replaced by CT. See the image below.

A computed tomography (CT) scan showing bulk disea A computed tomography (CT) scan showing bulk disease in a patient with Hodgkin lymphoma.

On CT scans of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis, possible abnormal findings include enlarged lymph nodes, hepatomegaly and/or splenomegaly (with or without focal parenchymal abnormalities), lung nodules or infiltrates, and pleural effusions (see the image below).

This computed tomography scan is from a 46-year pa This computed tomography scan is from a 46-year patient with Hodgkin lymphoma at the level of the neck. Enlarged lymph nodes are visible on the left side of the neck (red-shaded region).

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