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Open Access Highly Accessed Case report

Hodgkin's lymphoma presenting with markedly elevated IgE: a case report

Anne K Ellis12 and Susan Waserman1*

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Clinical Immunology & Allergy, Department of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada

2 Division of Allergy & Immunology, Department of Medicine, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada

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Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology 2009, 5:12  doi:10.1186/1710-1492-5-12

Published: 7 December 2009



Markedly elevated IgE as a manifestation of a lymphoproliferative disorder has been only rarely reported.

Case Presentation

We present the case of a 22 year old female referred to the adult Allergy & Clinical Immunology clinic for an extremely elevated IgE level, eventually diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. She had no history of atopy, recurrent infections, eczema or periodontal disease; stool was negative for ova & parasites. Chest X-ray revealed large bilateral anterior mediastinal masses that demonstrated prominent uptake on gallium scan. Mediastinal lymph node biopsy was consistent with Hodgkin's lymphoma, nodular sclerosing subtype, grade I/II.


Although uncommon, markedly elevated IgE may be a manifestation of a malignant process, most notably both Hodgkin's and Non-Hodgkin's lymphomas. This diagnosis should be considered in evaluating an otherwise unexplained elevation of IgE.