Phagocytic function of the reticuloendothelial system as measured by the clearance of 125I-labeled aggregated human serum albumin (AA) was studied in patients with Hodgkin's disease. Each more advanced stage of the disease was associated with more rapid clearance of the AA. Production of remission by radiation therapy or by chemotherapy was associated in some patients with slowing of the clearance rate, whereas relapse seemed to be associated with acceleration. Thus, impaired phagocytosis cannot be implicated in the several defects in immunity known to be present in Hodgkin's disease. Furthermore, determination of the clearance rate of AA in patients with Hodgkin's disease may have clinical usefulness as another indicator of extent or activity of disease.
John N. Sheagren, Jerome B. Block, Sheldon M. Wolff