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December 5, 1980

Dysphagia in a Patient With Hodgkin's Disease

Author Affiliations

From the Gastrointestinal Section (Drs Trotman and deBarros) and the Hematology-Oncology Section (Dr Glick), Department of Medicine; and the Department of Pathology (Dr Atkinson), School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

JAMA. 1980;244(22):2552-2553. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310220050029

DYSPHAGIA owing to lymphomatous involvement of the esophagus is uncommon and usually occurs late in the course of the disease, followed by death within six to 12 months.1,2 A patient with Hodgkin's lymphoma initially manifested dysphagia. The diagnosis was suspected by the presence of Sternberg-Reed cells in the exfoliative cytological examination of the esophagus and confirmed by a lymph node biopsy specimen. We emphasize the importance of exfoliative cytology and the careful approach to management and staging of this uncommon clinical presentation.

Report of a Case  A 33-year-old man was admitted to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania complaining of progressive dysphagia and weight loss for the past five months. The patient was healthy until 12 months before admission when he experienced occasional nocturnal nausea relieved by bilious vomiting. An upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract series was normal at that time, and his symptoms subsided spontaneously over the next