Autoimmune hemolytic anemia and autoimmune thrombocytopenia at diagnosis and during follow-up of Hodgkin lymphoma

Leuk Lymphoma. 2012 Aug;53(8):1481-7. doi: 10.3109/10428194.2012.660628. Epub 2012 Apr 2.


Autoimmune hemolytic anemia and thrombocytopenia (AIHA/AITP) frequently complicate the course of non-Hodgkin lymphomas, especially low-grade, but they are very rarely observed in Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). Consequently the frequency and the profile of patients with HL-associated AIHA/AITP have not been well defined. Among 1029 patients with HL diagnosed between 1990 and 2010, two cases of AIHA (0.19%) and three of AITP (0.29%) were identified at the presentation of disease. These patients were significantly older, and more frequently had features of advanced disease and non-nodular sclerosing histology, compared to the majority of patients, who did not have autoimmune cytopenias at diagnosis. ABVD combination chemotherapy (doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, dacarbazine) provided effective control of HL and the autoimmune condition as well. During approximately 6600 person-years of follow-up for the remaining 1024 patients, seven (0.7%) patients developed autoimmune cytopenias (three AITP, three AIHA, one autoimmune pancytopenia) for a 10- and 15-year actuarial incidence of 0.95% and 1.40%, respectively. Their features did not differ compared to the general population of adult HL. In this large series of consecutive, unselected patients, those who presented with autoimmune cytopenias had a particular demographic and disease-related profile. In contrast, patients developing autoimmune cytopenias during follow-up did not appear to differ significantly from those who did not.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anemia, Hemolytic, Autoimmune / complications
  • Anemia, Hemolytic, Autoimmune / immunology*
  • Anemia, Hemolytic, Autoimmune / therapy*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Bleomycin / therapeutic use
  • Comorbidity
  • Dacarbazine / therapeutic use
  • Doxorubicin / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Hodgkin Disease / complications*
  • Hodgkin Disease / diagnosis
  • Hodgkin Disease / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Medical Oncology / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic / complications
  • Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic / immunology*
  • Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vinblastine / therapeutic use


  • Bleomycin
  • Vinblastine
  • Dacarbazine
  • Doxorubicin

Supplementary concepts

  • ABVD protocol