• We examined and surgically restaged (using posttreatment laparotomy) 26 patients with stage III and IV Hodgkin's disease treated with combination chemotherapy and in apparent remission to determine the status of their clinical remission. Eleven patients had normal clinical restaging and surgical restaging. Fifteen patients had abnormal clinical restaging, mainly consisting of abnormal lymphangiograms or abdominal CT scans. Ten lymphangiograms were abnormal and could not exclude persistent lymphoma. Two of the 15 patients proved to have Hodgkin's disease involving the para-aortic nodes and the spleen. With a median follow-up of 24 months, two patients had relapses in supradiaphragmatic sites and no patient with a negative laparotomy had a recurrence in abdominal sites. Restaging laparotomy in selected patients with Hodgkin's disease with abnormal lymphangiograms or CT scans may identify additional patients with residual lymphoma who require further therapy and, more importantly, may identify those patients who have no residual disease and, therefore, may be spared additional therapy. Mortality and morbidity were nil.
(Arch Surg 1983;118:1272-1276)