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Management of the Pregnant Patient with Hodgkin's Disease

CHARLOTTE JACOBS, M.D.; SARAH S. DONALDSON, M.D.; SAUL A. ROSENBERG, M.D.; and HENRY S. KAPLAN, M.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Charlotte Jacobs, M.D.; C005 Stanford University Medical Center; Stanford, CA 94305.


Stanford, California


© 1981 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1981;95(6):669-675. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-95-6-669
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Fifteen pregnant women with Hodgkin's disease were followed. Five patients had irradiation, 1000 to 3000 rad to the neck, mediastinum, or both, during the second or third trimester with normal outcome of pregnancy. One patient had a spontaneous abortion in the first trimester after radiotherapy of 4400 rad to the breast, an estimated fetal dose of 9 rad. One patient who received chlorambucil throughout pregnancy delivered a normal infant. Six patients had therapeutic abortions; one had early induction of labor. In one patient previously treated for supradiaphragmatic Hodgkin's disease, detection of a subdiaphragmatic relapse was delayed because of pregnancy. We recommend abortion for patients who develop Hodgkin's disease early in pregnancy or who have received chemotherapy or irradiation during the first trimester. During the latter half of pregnancy, asymptomatic disease may be closely followed but early delivery is recommended. Supradiaphragmatic, symptomatic disease can be treated with modified irradiation. For subdiaphragmatic, symptomatic, or extranodal disease, single-agent chemotherapy may be preferable. Treatment requires individualization to insure that the patient will be cured and the fetus protected.

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