Malignant lymphoma, erythropoietin, anemia, ferritin
Anemia is a common finding in lymphoma. There are few data available regarding the erythropoietin (EPO) levels in conjunction with ferritin in lymphoma patients. We prospectively evaluated 55 patients diagnosed with malignant lymphoma during the period between November 2006 and March 2008 at King Abdullah University Teaching Hospital, Jordan. Our data showed that 74.4% of lymphoma patients were anemic. Furthermore, serum EPO and ferritin levels were higher in lymphoma patients compared with the healthy controls (P=0.001). The observed versus predicted EPO ratio showed also significantly higher levels in anemic lymphoma patients compared to healthy controls (p=0.03). There was an improvement in Hb level in lymphoma patients who were treated with at least 3-cycles of chemotherapy as compared with newly-diagnosed patients. An adequate increase of EPO levels was observed in anemic lymphoma patients and notably associated with higher ferritin levels and improvement of Hb (p<0.001). Our findings suggest that ferritin estimation in lymphoma patients may predict the level of erythropoiesis and possibly the degree of anemia. Further studies to confirm this findings are warranted.