Prognostic Role of the Red Blood Cell Distribution Width (RDW) in Hodgkin Lymphoma


Cancers (Basel). 2020 Nov 4;12(11):E3262. doi: 10.3390/cancers12113262.


The red blood cell distribution width (RDW) is a parameter available from an automated blood count, which measures the degree of heterogeneity of erythrocyte volume and increases in inflammatory conditions. The prognostic role of RDW has been described in different types of cancers. Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is a hematological malignancy, known to have a proinflammatory background. We aim to study the prognostic role of RDW in HL. We retrospectively analyzed 264 patients with HL from two hospitals

in the Balearic Islands between 1990 and 2018. Higher levels of RDW were independently related to anemia, B-symptoms, and low albumin. In age ≥45 years, the presence of lymphopenia and higher RDW were independently associated with worse event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS). Long-term incidence of secondary malignancies was significantly higher in patients with higher RDW, particularly lung cancer. In conclusion, we report for the first time that RDW is a simple, cheap, and easily available prognostic factor in HL that identifies a group with worse EFS, OS, and a higher potential incidence of secondary malignancies. RDW seems to be related to most adverse prognostic factors in HL, making RDW an excellent candidate to be included in prognostic scores for HL.