ONCAlert | 2018 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium
Multicentric Castleman Disease Case Studies

Frits van Rhee, MD, PhD: Patient's Diagnostic Workup

Frits van Rhee, MD, PhD
Published Online:Sep 22, 2015
Lisa B. is a 47-year-old female store owner from St. Louis, with a 10-month history of fatigue, night sweats, and weight loss.

Guess the Diagnosis: Case 1


What other tests are important in her diagnostic workup?

Frits van Rhee, MD, PhD, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, says one should think about autoimmune disorders, such as lupus, which quite often can be confused with Castleman’s disease, regarding the specific blood tests that can be done. Diseases, such as Epstein-Barr Virus, can be tested in the peripheral blood by molecular testing and antibody testing. Also, the lymph node itself can be stained for the Epstein-Barr Virus.

Guess the Diagnosis: Case 1

Lisa B. is a 47-year-old female store owner from St. Louis, with a 10-month history of fatigue, night sweats, and weight loss.
  • She presents to her PCP with generalized lymphadenopathy, most prominent in the cervical region; there is no polyneuropathy, and patient does not report joint pain. She is referred to a hematologist to rule out lymphoma
  • Medical history is unremarkable; family history relevant for a mother with systemic lupus erythematous and father who died with prostate cancer at 65 years old
  • Her physical exam is notable for bilateral cervical lymphadenopathy (1-2 cm), mild splenomegaly, and mild edema
  • Laboratory findings: anemia (Hgb 11 gm/dL), elevated CRP (35 mg/L) and ESR (80mm/hr), elevated platelets (400,000/mK), Igs (IgG: 4500 mg/dL, IgM: 1500 mg/dL, IgA: 300mg/dL)
  • PET scan showed generalized lymphadenopathy with a maximum SUV of 4.5; FNA of the lymph node is uninformative; she was referred to a general surgeon for excisional lymph node biopsy
Lisa’s pathology report shows the following findings:
  • Regressed germinal centers, scattered hyperplastic follicles, preserved architecture with patent peripheral sinuses and florid interfollicular plasmacytosis with no light chain restriction
  • Prominent vascularization and hyalinization is present
In view of these findings, the hematologist orders further tests, which yield the following results:
  • Lymph node: negative EBER, LANA-1, and IgG4 stains; negative PCR for B-cell clonality
  • Additional laboratory work: negative ANA, negative dsDNA, anti-Smith and anti-phosholipid antibodies; monospot negative
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