Background: C-reactive protein (CRP) is an acute phase protein produced in the liver. An elevated CRP is a nonspecific marker of inflammation. Additionally, it also appears to be a prognostic marker in several malignancies. Elevated CRP levels in adult patients with Hodgkin disease (HD) were reported previously. However, levels of CRP have not been evaluated in pediatric and adolescent HD patients.
Procedure: We analyzed CRP serum levels in 95 consecutive pediatric and adolescent patients with Hodgkin disease. CRP levels were correlated with stage, absence or presence of B symptoms, and prognosis.
Results: At the time of diagnosis increased serum CRP levels were found in 64 % (61/95) of the patients with a median of 21 mg/L (range: <5-211). Serum C-reactive protein levels correlated with stage and were higher in patients with B symptoms. Higher CRP levels were associated with an increased risk of relapse.
Conclusion: In addition to soluble interleukin 2 receptor (sIL-2R) levels, CRP holds promise as a diagnostic and prognostic index and follow-up monitor in pediatric and adolescent patients with Hodgkin disease, and merits further investigation.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.