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Chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia.jpg
Peripheral blood smear showing CLL cells
Classification and external resources
Specialty Hematology and oncology
ICD-10 C91.1
ICD-9-CM V10.60 204.1 V10.60
ICD-O M9823/3 (CLL)
9670/3 (SCL)
DiseasesDB 2641
MedlinePlus 000532
eMedicine med/370
MeSH D015451
[]

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
Follicular lymphoma
Splenic marginal zone lymphoma
Nodal marginal zone lymphoma
Mantle cell lymphoma
Hairy cell leukemia
Prolymphocytic leukemia (B cell or T cell)
Lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma
Sézary syndrome
Smoldering adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma

  • Stage 0: characterized by absolute lymphocytosis (>15,000/mm3) without adenopathy, hepatosplenomegaly, anemia, or thrombocytopenia
  • Stage I: characterized by absolute lymphocytosis with lymphadenopathy without hepatosplenomegaly, anemia, or thrombocytopenia
  • Stage II: characterized by absolute lymphocytosis with either hepatomegaly or splenomegaly with or without lymphadenopathy
  • Stage III: characterized by absolute lymphocytosis and anemia (hemoglobin <11 g/dL) with or without lymphadenopathy, hepatomegaly, or splenomegaly
  • Stage IV: characterized by absolute lymphocytosis and thrombocytopenia (<100,000/mm3) with or without lymphadenopathy, hepatomegaly, splenomegaly, or anemia
  • Clinical stage A: characterized by no anemia or thrombocytopenia and fewer than three areas of lymphoid involvement (Rai stages 0, I, and II)
  • Clinical stage B: characterized by no anemia or thrombocytopenia with three or more areas of lymphoid involvement (Rai stages I and II)
  • Clinical stage C: characterized by anemia and/or thrombocytopenia regardless of the number of areas of lymphoid enlargement (Rai stages III and IV)
  • B cell prolymphocytic leukemia, a related, but more aggressive disorder, has cells with similar phenotype, but are significantly larger than normal lymphocytes and have a prominent nucleolus. The distinction is important as the prognosis and therapy differ from CLL.
  • Hairy cell leukemia is also a neoplasm of B lymphocytes, but the neoplastic cells have a distinct morphology under the microscope (hairy cell leukemia cells have delicate, hair-like projections on their surfaces) and unique marker molecule expression.
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Wikipedia

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