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Hodgkin Lymphoma Diagnostic Tools and Tests

If you have symptoms of Hodgkin lymphoma, your physician may perform specific exams, or order tests.

Because Hodgkin lymphoma may be difficult to diagnose, you may wish to receive a second opinion. At Penn Medicine's Abramson Cancer Center, we provide second opinion services, and may require some of your lab work and imaging studies to be performed here, even if you've had the same lab work completed at another health care facility.

All lab work is completed by our hematopathologists, who are leaders in the diagnosis and classification of blood cancers, such as Hodgkin lymphoma.

The following tests and diagnostic procedures may be used to diagnose Hodgkin lymphoma:

  • A physical exam and full medical history evaluation
  • A complete blood count (CBC) that will examine the number of red blood cells and platelets, and the number and type of white blood cells. The CBC will also examine other portions of the blood.
  • Blood chemistry studies
  • A lymph node biopsy, which will remove part, or the entire lymph node
  • Imaging studies such as PET scans, CT scans, chest X-rays and MRI studies

In addition, Penn's Hematology and Hematopathology labs provide routine hematologic tests, specialized tests that diagnose and classify subtypes, and evaluation of lymphoid tissue biopsies.