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Baseline immunoglobulin G and immune function in non-Hodgkin lymphoma: a retrospective analysis

Introduction: Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) encompasses a diverse group of lymphoma subtypes with a wide range in disease course.

Baseline immunoglobulin G and immune function in non-Hodgkin lymphoma: a retrospective analysis

Previous studies show that hypogammaglobulinemia in treatment-naïve patients is associated with poorer survival in high grade B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas, though it is not known how this applies across all B-cell lymphoid malignancies. Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of immunoglobulin levels and clinical outcomes including survival, hospitalization, and infection rates in patients diagnosed with B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas of all grades at our institution. Results: Two-hundred twenty-three adults (aged = 18 years) with available pre-treatment IgG levels were selected, with hypogammaglobulinemia defined as IgG< 500 mg/mL. For this analysis, we grouped DLBCL (n=90), Primary CNS (n=5), and Burkitt lymphoma (n=1) together as high-grade, while CLL (n=52), mantle cell (n=20), marginal zone (n=25), follicular (n=21), and Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia (n=5) were low-grade.

The incidence of hypogammaglobulinemia in our cohort of both high and low-grade lymphoma patients was 13.5% (n=30). Across all NHL subtypes, individuals with baseline IgG< 500 mg/dL showed an increased rate of hospitalization (4.453, CI: 1.955-10.54, p= 0.0005) and higher mortality (3.325, CI: 1.258, 8.491, p= 0.013), yet no association in number of infections when compared with those with IgG=500 mg/dL.

There was a higher hospitalization rate (3.237, CI: 1.77-6.051, p=0.0017) in those with high-grade lymphoma with hypogammaglobulinemia when compared with low-grade.

There was no statistically significant difference in individuals who were alive after three years in those with baseline IgG<500 mg/dL. Discussion: Our study is the first to analyze incidence of hypogammaglobulinemia at the time of diagnosis of NHL as a potential biomarker of interest for future outcomes including hospitalization and infection.

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