Hodgkin lymphoma presenting as alcohol-induced back pain

Lucy Ma, Sanskriti Varma, Ashwini Niranjan-Azadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A 32-year-old Chinese man without significant medical history presented with a 2-month history of worsening lumbosacral back pain radiating to the groin and left lower extremity. He also described a shooting pain in the sciatic nerve distribution that began with and was exacerbated by alcohol consumption, a rare but known symptom of Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). On exam, an anterior chest wall mass was noted. Radiographic evaluation of an anterior mediastinal mass showed osseous erosion into the manubrium. MRI of the lumbar spine showed diffuse osseous disease of the lower thoracic and lumbar spine with extension into the right sacroiliac joint and S2 neural foramen without vertebral body collapse or stenosis. Tissue biopsy revealed nodular sclerosis HL, stage IVB IPS2. The patient was primary refractory to ABVD (adriamycin, bleomycin, vinblastine, dacarbazine) therapy. Salvage ICE (ifosfamide, carboplatin, etoposide) chemotherapy was used and then followed by non-myeloablative haploidentical bone marrow transplant was performed on 5 March 2019.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere228440
JournalBMJ case reports
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


  • back pain
  • haematology (incl blood transfusion)
  • musculoskeletal and joint disorders
  • oncology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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