Neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio at diagnosis is an independent prognostic factor in patients with nodular sclerosis Hodgkin lymphoma: results of a large multicenter study involving 990 patients

Hematol Oncol. 2017 Dec;35(4):561-566. doi: 10.1002/hon.2359. Epub 2016 Oct 28.


Several studies have demonstrated the prognostic value of neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) in patients with solid tumors and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In contrast, there is only sparse data on its prognostic role in patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL). The aim of our study was to establish whether NLR could serve as an independent prognostic factor in a cohort of 990 patients with nodular sclerosis (NS)-cHL. After analysis of the log hazard ratio (HR) as a function of NLR, we chose the value 6 as cutoff. Patients with NLR >6 had a worse progression-free survival and overall survival compared to those with NLR ≤6; 84% vs 75% and 92% vs 88%, at 5 years, with an HR of 1.65 and 1.82, respectively. Multivariate analysis showed that the risk remained high with HR 1.44 and HR 1.54 in progression-free survival and overall survival, respectively. In summary, our study shows that NLR is a robust and independent prognostic parameter in NS-cHL, both in early and advanced disease. It is inexpensive and simple to apply. Thus, we conclude that NLR, possibly in combination with the international prognostic score and absolute monocyte count, is a useful guide for physicians treating NS-cHL patients.

Keywords: Hodgkin lymphoma; lymphocyte; neutrophil; neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio; prognosis.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Hodgkin Disease / mortality*
  • Hodgkin Disease / pathology*
  • Hodgkin Disease / therapy
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Leukocyte Count*
  • Lymphocytes / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neutrophils / pathology*
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Reference Values
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers