High Blood Pressure and Hodgkin's Lymphoma


There are many different signs and symptoms associated with the diagnosis and treatment of Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can loosely be considered one of them. However, high blood pressure is not regarded as a sign, symptom, or side effect of having Hodgkin's lymphoma. Rather, it is a rare but possible side effect stemming from treatment for Hodgkin's, and there are at least two instances where a patient's blood pressure will be monitored.

Steroid Treatment

Sometimes, chemotherapy regimens for Hodgkin's lymphoma will include the use of a steroid such as prednisone. For instance, the chemotherapy regimen known as BEACOPP includes doses of prednisone, as does another popular Hodgkin's regimen, the Stanford V regimen. However, prednisone is not used in the most commonly used regimen in the United States, ABVD.

Patients who are put on steroids for Hodgkin's treatment are not on them for very long, and so do not tend to develop the many side effects associated with them. However, patients who undergo stem cell transplants may be on steroids for extended periods of time, and for these patients, high blood pressure is not an uncommon side effect.

Lymphocyte-Predominant Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Sometimes, people who are diagosed with this very rare subtype of Hodgkin's lymphoma, known as lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin's lymphoma, will be treated with a drug that is almost exclusively not used in Hodgkin's treatment, but rather in treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphomas. That drug is the monoclonal antibody Rituxan, also known as rituximab.

Rituxan has been proven to be effective in controlling a patient's lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin's lymphoma and allowing for these patients to live long lives in the event that their disease fails to respond to standard chemotherapy, or if it recurrs at a later date.

When given Rituxan, physicians keep an eye on their patients for many different and sometimes dangerous side effects of the immunotherapy treatment. Changes in blood pressure could be one of those side effects.

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