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January 13, 1984

The Syndrome of Unexplained Generalized Lymphadenopathy in Young Men in New York City: Is It Related to the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome?

JAMA. 1984;251(2):242-246. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340260046025

To establish whether the syndrome of unexplained generalized lymphadenopathy in homosexual men was new and related epidemiologically to the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), we reviewed 3,139 pathology reports of lymph node biopsies performed at seven hospitals in New York City during the years 1977 through 1981. Three hundred twenty-nine patients (10%) were categorized as having unexplained lymph node hyperplasia; a detailed medical record review of 30% of these patients revealed three, two, six, eight, and 16 cases of unexplained generalized lymphadenopathy in the five years studied, respectively. Of these 35 cases, 26 (74%) occurred in males aged 16 to 44. A record review of 68 additional male patients aged 16 to 44 years with unexplained lymph node hyperplasia in two of the hospitals showed a similar increase in cases of unexplained generalized lymphadenopathy during the five-year period. Twenty-one of 25 cases in males with known sexual orientation were homosexual or bisexual. The increase in the syndrome of unexplained generalized lymphadenopathy from 1978 to 1981 and the characteristics of the population affected are similar to those observed for AIDS.

(JAMA 1984;251:242-246)