Castleman disease

 
 

Overview

Characterized by an overgrowth of cells in the body’s lymph nodes, Castleman disease can manifest in several different forms, affecting different parts of the body. 

Unicentric Castleman disease

The most common form affects just one lymph node in the chest or abdomen and can typically be treated with surgery. 

Multicentric Castleman disease

Less common and affects several lymph nodes throughout the body. Multicentric Castleman disease has been linked to the human herpesvirus type 8 (HHV-8) and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Treatment is more complicated as this form of the disease cannot be resolved with a simple surgery.

Common Symptoms

Unicentric Castleman disease

While many people never experience any signs or symptoms, some may experience enlarged liver/spleen, breathing problems, feelings of fullness/trouble eating, nausea, night sweats, fatigue, unintentional weight loss, and fever.

 

Multicentric Castleman disease

Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, collarbone, underarm, and groin areas, susceptibility to serious infections, anemia, fevers, weight loss, fatigue, night sweats, and sensation problems caused by nerve damage.

Coexisting Diseases and Conditions

HIV, lymphoma, organ failure, Kaposi’s sarcoma, cancer, and anemia.

Risk Factors and Prevalence

While the condition can impact people of any age, the average age of diagnosis for unicentric Castleman disease is 30-40 and 50-60 for the multicentric form.  Males are slightly more affected by multicentric Castleman disease than females. People infected with HHV-8 or those who have certain forms of cancer also have an elevated risk for Castleman disease. Additionally, an HIV infection can make one’s experience with Castleman disease more severe (ACS).

Sources

  1. Article Sources and Footnotes
    1. Castleman Disease. (n.d.-a). NORD (National Organization for Rare Disorders). Retrieved July 15, 2021, from https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/castlemans-disease/

    2. Castleman Disease: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments and Tests. (n.d.-b). Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved July 15, 2021, from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17920-castleman-disease

    3. Castleman disease—Symptoms and causes. (n.d.). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved July 15, 2021, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/castleman-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20370735

    4. Overview—Castleman Disease Collaborative Network. (n.d.). CDCN. Retrieved July 15, 2021, from https://cdcn.org/castleman-disease/overview/

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