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|Chronic lymphocytic leukemia|
|Peripheral blood smear showing CLL cells|
|Classification and external resources|
|Specialty||Hematology and oncology|
|ICD-9-CM||V10.60 204.1 V10.60|
B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL), also known as chronic lymphoid leukemia (CLL), is the most common type of leukemia (a type of cancer of the white blood cells) in adults. CLL affects B cell lymphocytes, which originate in the bone marrow, develop in the lymph nodes, and normally fight infection by producing antibodies.
In CLL, B cells grow in an uncontrolled manner and accumulate in the bone marrow and blood, where they crowd out healthy blood cells. CLL is a stage of small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL), a type of B-cell lymphoma, which presents primarily in the lymph nodes. CLL and SLL are considered the same underlying disease, just with different appearances.
CLL is a disease of adults. Most (>75%) people newly diagnosed with CLL are over the age of 50, and the majority are men. However, in rare cases, it can occur in teenagers and occasionally in children. Some of these may relate to an inherited predisposition.
Most people are diagnosed without symptoms as the result of a routine blood test that returns a high white blood cell count, but, as it advances, CLL results in swollen lymph nodes, spleen, and liver, and eventually anemia and infections. Early CLL is not treated, and late CLL is treated with chemotherapy and monoclonal antibodies.
DNA analysis has distinguished two major types of CLL, with different survival times. CLL that is positive for the marker ZAP-70 has an average survival of 8 years, while CLL negative for ZAP-70 has an average survival of more than 25 years. Many patients, especially older ones with slowly progressing disease, can be reassured and may not need any treatment in their lifetimes.
|Lymphoid disorders that can present as chronic leukemia and can be confused with typical B-cell chronic lymphoid leukemia|
|Splenic marginal zone lymphoma|
|Nodal marginal zone lymphoma|
|Mantle cell lymphoma|
|Hairy cell leukemia|
|Prolymphocytic leukemia (B cell or T cell)|
|Smoldering adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma|
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