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Episode 081: Inflammatory marker blood tests suggest a diagnostic window to help earlier Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis

In this episode we talk to Dr Meena Rafiq who is an academic GP and clinical research fellow at University College London.

Paper: Inflammatory marker testing in primary care in the year before Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis: a UK population-based case–control study in patients aged ≤50 years

https://doi.org/10.3399/BJGP.2021.0617

Understanding the timing of the inflammatory response in Hodgkin lymphoma may help identify opportunities for earlier diagnosis. In patients with Hodgkin lymphoma presenting to U  K general practice, greater than expected and increasing use of inflammatory marker tests in the year before diagnosis were observed; two-thirds of patients with Hodgkin lymphoma who were tested for inflammatory markers had abnormal results, with almost half of patients in this group having no other recorded red-flag feature beyond their abnormal result. These findings provide proof of concept about the presence of a ‘diagnostic window’ during which Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis could be expedited in at least some patients. Given the challenges of timely diagnosis in patients with Hodgkin lymphoma, inflammatory marker testing could help to expedite the diagnosis in those presenting with non-specific symptoms if supported and utilised by future advances in diagnostic technology.

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