Abnormal chest radiographs in patients with Hodgkin's disease are occasionally due to pulmonary Hodgkin's disease. The fluids recovered from bronchoalveolar lavages (BALs) from 50 patients prior to autologous bone marrow transplantation for advanced Hodgkin's disease were examined. Abnormal chest roentgenograms were present in 24 patients (48%); 4 (17%) of these had Reed-Sternberg cells or their mononucleated variants in the lavage fluid and an alveolar lymphocytosis averaging 31.4% (normal: 11.5%). The lymphocytes were small and monotonous. Of the 20 patients with abnormal chest roentgenograms but no Reed-Sternberg cells in the lavage fluid, the lymphocyte count was 10.88%, with only 3 patients exceeding 17%. Two patients with normal chest roentgenograms had Reed-Sternberg-like cells in their lavage fluids and averaged 23% lymphocytes in their lavage differential count. Eosinophils averaged 1% or less of the lavage differential and were not predictive of pulmonary Hodgkin's disease. This experience suggests that pulmonary Hodgkin's disease can be diagnosed by BAL. Reed-Sternberg cells and their mononucleated variants can be recognized by their characteristic cytomorphologic features, although care must be taken not to misinterpret reactive binucleated macrophages as neoplastic cells. In patients with Hodgkin's disease, Reed-Sternberg cells should be sought when an alveolar lymphocytosis is present.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)527-532
Number of pages6
JournalActa Cytologica
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology

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