We report a young man presenting with jaundice and severe debilitating intrahepatic cholestasis 7 months before the diagnosis of Hodgkin's lymphoma. Serum gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) activity was not raised. Liver biopsy demonstrated deficiency of canalicular GGT and bile salt export pump expression, which suggested "benign" recurrent intrahepatic cholestasis. Direct sequencing of genomic DNA was therefore undertaken to look for mutations in ATP8B1 and ABCB11. Cholestasis and pruritus are well recognized presenting features of Hodgkin's lymphoma. However, striking in this case is that the intrahepatic cholestasis presented and resolved 7 months before the diagnosis. Furthermore, 4 polymorphisms were identified in ATP8B1 in this patient-c.696T > C (rs319438), c.811A > C (rs319438), c.2855G > A (rs1296811) and c.3454G > A (rs222581)-and two polymorphisms in ABCB11-c.1331T > C (rs2287622) and c.3084A > G (rs497692); 2 of which have been associated with intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy. We therefore postulate that these polymorphisms predisposed this patient to the development of intrahepatic cholestasis within the abnormal pro-inflammatory cytokine milieu typical for Hodgkin's lymphoma. This case shows for the first time that some polymorphisms in ABCB11 and ATP8B1 may predispose to the development of intrahepatic cholestasis in Hodgkin's lymphoma. It also demonstrates the importance of close clinical surveillance for the development of Hodgkin's lymphoma in patients presenting with unexplained intrahepatic cholestasis.
Keywords: BRIC, “benign” recurrent intrahepatic cholestasis; BSEP, bile salt export pump; CT, computerized tomography; GGT, gamma-glutamyl transferase; Hodgkin's; ICP, intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy; PFIC, progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis; UDCA, ursodeoxycholic acid; intrahepatic cholestasis; lymphoma; polymorphism.