Hodgkin disease

Synonyms: Hodgkin's disease, Hodgkin lymphoma, Hodgkin's

Medical Specialties: Internal medicine, Oncology

Clinical Definition

Hodgkin disease, or Hodgkin’s disease, is a malignant neoplasm of lymphoid cells and is one type of lymphoma. It differs from other lymphomas in that it produces abnormal Reed-Sternberg cells. It is characterized by enlargement of the lymph nodes, spleen and possibly liver.


Hodgkin disease is divided into two main subtypes based on histopathologic criteria. It often has a good prognosis if treated early enough.

In Our Own Words

Considered one of the most curable forms of cancer, Hodgkin disease is a cancer that develops in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is part of the body’s immune system and helps fight infection.


Hodgkin disease is a type of lymphoma. In fact, lymphomas are classified broadly as Hodgkin or non-Hodgkin; people with Hodgkin disease produce a specific type of cell called a Reed-Sternberg cell. 

Relevant Conditions
Common Types
  • Classical Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin’s disease
Share this article
  • The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center–Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC–James). “All About Hodgkin’s Disease.” http://cancer.osu.edu/patientsandvisitors/cancerinfo/cancertypes/hodgkins/about/pages/index.aspx. Accessed February 2014.
  • University of Maryland Medical Center. “Hodgkin’s Disease.” Updated June 2013. https://umm.edu/health/medical/reports/articles/hodgkins-disease. Accessed February 2014.
  • Columbia University Medical Center. “Hodgkin Disease.” http://www.cumc.columbia.edu/hematology-oncology/patient_care/blood-bone-marrow-transplantation/hodgkin. Accessed February 2014.
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