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Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a hematologic malignancy Malignancy Hemothorax characterized by excess production of fully differentiated monoclonal B lymphocytes Lymphocytes Lymphocytes are heterogeneous WBCs involved in immune response. Lymphocytes develop from the bone marrow, starting from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and progressing to common lymphoid progenitors (CLPs). B and T lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cells arise from the lineage. Lymphocytes: Histology in the peripheral blood. When the involvement is primarily nodal, the condition is called small lymphocytic lymphoma Lymphoma A general term for various neoplastic diseases of the lymphoid tissue. Imaging of the Mediastinum (SLL). The disease usually presents in older adults, with a median Median After arranging the data from loWest to highest, the median is the middle value, separating the lower half from the upper half of the data set. Measures of Central Tendency and Dispersion age of 70 years. Clinical presentation is often asymptomatic and diagnosis is made when abnormal lymphocytosis Lymphocytosis WBCs develop from stem cells in the bone marrow and are called leukocytes when circulating in the bloodstream. Lymphocytes are 1 of the 5 subclasses of WBCs. Lymphocytosis is an increase in the number or proportion of the lymphocyte subclass of WBCs, often as a result of an immune response to infection (known as reactive lymphocytosis). Lymphocytosis is seen on laboratory testing. Cytopenias Cytopenias IPEX Syndrome can also be seen. The B cells B cells Lymphoid cells concerned with humoral immunity. They are short-lived cells resembling bursa-derived lymphocytes of birds in their production of immunoglobulin upon appropriate stimulation. B cells: Types and Functions are functionally incompetent lymphocytes Lymphocytes Lymphocytes are heterogeneous WBCs involved in immune response. Lymphocytes develop from the bone marrow, starting from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and progressing to common lymphoid progenitors (CLPs). B and T lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cells arise from the lineage. Lymphocytes: Histology; thus, recurrent infections Recurrent infections Common Variable Immunodeficiency (CVID) can sometimes be seen with this malignancy Malignancy Hemothorax. Treatment can vary from watchful waiting for early stages to chemotherapy Chemotherapy Osteosarcoma for later stages. Median Median After arranging the data from loWest to highest, the median is the middle value, separating the lower half from the upper half of the data set. Measures of Central Tendency and Dispersion survival is around 10 years.

Last updated: May 31, 2022

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Overview

Definition

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a lymphoproliferative neoplasm characterized by accumulation of functionally impaired lymphocytes Lymphocytes Lymphocytes are heterogeneous WBCs involved in immune response. Lymphocytes develop from the bone marrow, starting from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and progressing to common lymphoid progenitors (CLPs). B and T lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cells arise from the lineage. Lymphocytes: Histology, often monoclonal in origin.

Terminology

CLL is identical to small lymphocytic lymphoma Lymphoma A general term for various neoplastic diseases of the lymphoid tissue. Imaging of the Mediastinum (SLL), both of which are considered manifestations of B-cell neoplasm.

  • The term CLL is used when the disease manifests primarily in the blood.
  • The term SLL is used when involvement is primarily nodal. 

Epidemiology

  • Most common type of leukemia in adults in the western hemisphere
    • 90% of cases present as CLL.
    • 10% of cases resent as SLL.
  • Incidence Incidence The number of new cases of a given disease during a given period in a specified population. It also is used for the rate at which new events occur in a defined population. It is differentiated from prevalence, which refers to all cases in the population at a given time. Measures of Disease Frequency: approximately 4–6 cases per 100,000 population/year in the United States
  • 1.5 times more prevalent in men than in women
  • Incidence Incidence The number of new cases of a given disease during a given period in a specified population. It also is used for the rate at which new events occur in a defined population. It is differentiated from prevalence, which refers to all cases in the population at a given time. Measures of Disease Frequency increases with age, with a median Median After arranging the data from loWest to highest, the median is the middle value, separating the lower half from the upper half of the data set. Measures of Central Tendency and Dispersion age at presentation of 70 years.

Etiology

  • Risk factors include:
    • Family history Family History Adult Health Maintenance: 1st-degree relatives of individuals with CLL have a risk of developing monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis Lymphocytosis WBCs develop from stem cells in the bone marrow and are called leukocytes when circulating in the bloodstream. Lymphocytes are 1 of the 5 subclasses of WBCs. Lymphocytosis is an increase in the number or proportion of the lymphocyte subclass of WBCs, often as a result of an immune response to infection (known as reactive lymphocytosis). Lymphocytosis (MBL) → a small percentage go on to develop CLL
    • Age: increase in incidence Incidence The number of new cases of a given disease during a given period in a specified population. It also is used for the rate at which new events occur in a defined population. It is differentiated from prevalence, which refers to all cases in the population at a given time. Measures of Disease Frequency over 30 years of age
  • No clear link with environmental or occupational factors

Pathophysiology

Hematopoiesis Hematopoiesis The development and formation of various types of blood cells. Hematopoiesis can take place in the bone marrow (medullary) or outside the bone marrow (extramedullary hematopoiesis). Bone Marrow: Composition and Hematopoiesis

Creation of new blood cells ( hematopoiesis Hematopoiesis The development and formation of various types of blood cells. Hematopoiesis can take place in the bone marrow (medullary) or outside the bone marrow (extramedullary hematopoiesis). Bone Marrow: Composition and Hematopoiesis) starts with a hematopoietic stem cell, which is prompted to divide and differentiate with appropriate chemical stimuli (hemopoietic growth factors).

  • Myeloid stem cells: eventually differentiate into platelets Platelets Platelets are small cell fragments involved in hemostasis. Thrombopoiesis takes place primarily in the bone marrow through a series of cell differentiation and is influenced by several cytokines. Platelets are formed after fragmentation of the megakaryocyte cytoplasm. Platelets: Histology, erythrocytes Erythrocytes Erythrocytes, or red blood cells (RBCs), are the most abundant cells in the blood. While erythrocytes in the fetus are initially produced in the yolk sac then the liver, the bone marrow eventually becomes the main site of production. Erythrocytes: Histology, granulocytes Granulocytes Leukocytes with abundant granules in the cytoplasm. They are divided into three groups according to the staining properties of the granules: neutrophilic, eosinophilic, and basophilic. Mature granulocytes are the neutrophils; eosinophils; and basophils. White Myeloid Cells: Histology ( neutrophils Neutrophils Granular leukocytes having a nucleus with three to five lobes connected by slender threads of chromatin, and cytoplasm containing fine inconspicuous granules and stainable by neutral dyes. Innate Immunity: Phagocytes and Antigen Presentation, basophils Basophils Granular leukocytes characterized by a relatively pale-staining, lobate nucleus and cytoplasm containing coarse dark-staining granules of variable size and stainable by basic dyes. Innate Immunity: Phagocytes and Antigen Presentation, eosinophils Eosinophils Granular leukocytes with a nucleus that usually has two lobes connected by a slender thread of chromatin, and cytoplasm containing coarse, round granules that are uniform in size and stainable by eosin. Innate Immunity: Phagocytes and Antigen Presentation), and monocytes Monocytes Large, phagocytic mononuclear leukocytes produced in the vertebrate bone marrow and released into the blood; contain a large, oval or somewhat indented nucleus surrounded by voluminous cytoplasm and numerous organelles. Innate Immunity: Phagocytes and Antigen Presentation
  • Lymphoid stem cells: give rise to lymphocytes Lymphocytes Lymphocytes are heterogeneous WBCs involved in immune response. Lymphocytes develop from the bone marrow, starting from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and progressing to common lymphoid progenitors (CLPs). B and T lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cells arise from the lineage. Lymphocytes: Histology
    • IL-6: B-cell stimulatory factor
    • IL-2: stimulates T-cell proliferation and differentiation
Bone marrow hematopoiesis

Bone Bone Bone is a compact type of hardened connective tissue composed of bone cells, membranes, an extracellular mineralized matrix, and central bone marrow. The 2 primary types of bone are compact and spongy. Bones: Structure and Types marrow hematopoiesis Hematopoiesis The development and formation of various types of blood cells. Hematopoiesis can take place in the bone marrow (medullary) or outside the bone marrow (extramedullary hematopoiesis). Bone Marrow: Composition and Hematopoiesis: proliferation and differentiation of the formed elements of blood.
In CML CML Chronic myeloid leukemia is a malignant proliferation of the granulocytic cell line characterized by a fairly normal differentiation. The underlying genetic abnormality is the Philadelphia chromosome, an abbreviated chromosome 22, resulting from reciprocal (9;22)(q34;q11) translocation. Chronic Myeloid Leukemia, there is sustained proliferation of cells in the granulocytic line (myeloblasts → neutrophils Neutrophils Granular leukocytes having a nucleus with three to five lobes connected by slender threads of chromatin, and cytoplasm containing fine inconspicuous granules and stainable by neutral dyes. Innate Immunity: Phagocytes and Antigen Presentation, basophils Basophils Granular leukocytes characterized by a relatively pale-staining, lobate nucleus and cytoplasm containing coarse dark-staining granules of variable size and stainable by basic dyes. Innate Immunity: Phagocytes and Antigen Presentation, eosinophils Eosinophils Granular leukocytes with a nucleus that usually has two lobes connected by a slender thread of chromatin, and cytoplasm containing coarse, round granules that are uniform in size and stainable by eosin. Innate Immunity: Phagocytes and Antigen Presentation). Both mature and maturing cells are seen; thus, there are cells that are only partially effective in immune response.
IL-3: interleukin-3 Interleukin-3 A multilineage cell growth factor secreted by lymphocytes; epithelial cells; and astrocytes which stimulates clonal proliferation and differentiation of various types of blood and tissue cells. Platelets: Histology
CFU-GEMM CFU-GEMM Platelets: Histology: colony-forming unit–granulocyte, erythrocyte, monocyte, megakaryocyte Megakaryocyte Very large bone marrow cells which release mature blood platelets. Platelets: Histology
IL-2: interleukin-2 Interleukin-2 A soluble substance elaborated by antigen- or mitogen-stimulated T-lymphocytes which induces DNA synthesis in naive lymphocytes. Interleukins
IL-6: interleukin-6 Interleukin-6 A cytokine that stimulates the growth and differentiation of B-lymphocytes and is also a growth factor for hybridomas and plasmacytomas. It is produced by many different cells including T-lymphocytes; monocytes; and fibroblasts. Interleukins
CFU-GM: colony-forming unit–granulocyte-macrophage
GM-CSF GM-CSF An acidic glycoprotein of mw 23 kda with internal disulfide bonds. The protein is produced in response to a number of inflammatory mediators by mesenchymal cells present in the hemopoietic environment and at peripheral sites of inflammation. GM-CSF is able to stimulate the production of neutrophilic granulocytes, macrophages, and mixed granulocyte-macrophage colonies from bone marrow cells and can stimulate the formation of eosinophil colonies from fetal liver progenitor cells. GM-CSF can also stimulate some functional activities in mature granulocytes and macrophages. White Myeloid Cells: Histology: granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor
M-CSF M-CSF A mononuclear phagocyte colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) synthesized by mesenchymal cells. The compound stimulates the survival, proliferation, and differentiation of hematopoietic cells of the monocyte-macrophage series. M-CSF is a disulfide-bonded glycoprotein dimer with a mw of 70 kda. It binds to a specific high affinity receptor. White Myeloid Cells: Histology: macrophage colony-stimulating factor Macrophage colony-stimulating factor A mononuclear phagocyte colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) synthesized by mesenchymal cells. The compound stimulates the survival, proliferation, and differentiation of hematopoietic cells of the monocyte-macrophage series. M-CSF is a disulfide-bonded glycoprotein dimer with a mw of 70 kda. It binds to a specific high affinity receptor. White Myeloid Cells: Histology
G-CSF: granulocyte colony-stimulating factor Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor A glycoprotein of mw 25 kda containing internal disulfide bonds. It induces the survival, proliferation, and differentiation of neutrophilic granulocyte precursor cells and functionally activates mature blood neutrophils. Among the family of colony-stimulating factors, G-CSF is the most potent inducer of terminal differentiation to granulocytes and macrophages of leukemic myeloid cell lines. White Myeloid Cells: Histology
IL-5: interleukin-5 Interleukin-5 A cytokine that promotes differentiation and activation of eosinophils. It also triggers activated B-lymphocytes to differentiate into immunoglobulin-secreting cells. Interleukins
NK: natural killer
TPO: thrombopoietin Thrombopoietin A humoral factor that stimulates the production of thrombocytes (blood platelets). Thrombopoietin stimulates the proliferation of bone marrow megakaryocytes and their release of blood platelets. The process is called thrombopoiesis. Platelets: Histology
EPO EPO Glycoprotein hormone, secreted chiefly by the kidney in the adult and the liver in the fetus, that acts on erythroid stem cells of the bone marrow to stimulate proliferation and differentiation. Erythrocytes: Histology: erythropoietin Erythropoietin Glycoprotein hormone, secreted chiefly by the kidney in the adult and the liver in the fetus, that acts on erythroid stem cells of the bone marrow to stimulate proliferation and differentiation. Erythrocytes: Histology

Image by Lecturio. License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Pathogenesis

  • Monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis Lymphocytosis WBCs develop from stem cells in the bone marrow and are called leukocytes when circulating in the bloodstream. Lymphocytes are 1 of the 5 subclasses of WBCs. Lymphocytosis is an increase in the number or proportion of the lymphocyte subclass of WBCs, often as a result of an immune response to infection (known as reactive lymphocytosis). Lymphocytosis (MBL):
    • Defined as < 5000 B lymphocytes Lymphocytes Lymphocytes are heterogeneous WBCs involved in immune response. Lymphocytes develop from the bone marrow, starting from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and progressing to common lymphoid progenitors (CLPs). B and T lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cells arise from the lineage. Lymphocytes: Histology/μL in the peripheral blood 
    • This asymptomatic proliferation of monoclonal B-cells can precede CLL/SLL:
      • Also seen in otherwise healthy individuals (notable increase in individuals > 60 years of age)
      • Without lymphadenopathy Lymphadenopathy Lymphadenopathy is lymph node enlargement (> 1 cm) and is benign and self-limited in most patients. Etiologies include malignancy, infection, and autoimmune disorders, as well as iatrogenic causes such as the use of certain medications. Generalized lymphadenopathy often indicates underlying systemic disease. Lymphadenopathy, organomegaly, cytopenias Cytopenias IPEX Syndrome, or extramedullary involvement
    • Unknown cause but is believed to have a multifactorial etiology, including bone Bone Bone is a compact type of hardened connective tissue composed of bone cells, membranes, an extracellular mineralized matrix, and central bone marrow. The 2 primary types of bone are compact and spongy. Bones: Structure and Types marrow microenvironment and genetic and epigenetic modifications
  • MBL to CLL/SLL:
    • B lymphocytes Lymphocytes Lymphocytes are heterogeneous WBCs involved in immune response. Lymphocytes develop from the bone marrow, starting from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and progressing to common lymphoid progenitors (CLPs). B and T lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cells arise from the lineage. Lymphocytes: Histology: ≥ 5000/μL 
    • Further alterations in the genetic makeup likely contribute to the evolution to CLL/SLL.
    • Initially asymptomatic
    • As B-cell development arrests between pre-B cells and mature B cells B cells Lymphoid cells concerned with humoral immunity. They are short-lived cells resembling bursa-derived lymphocytes of birds in their production of immunoglobulin upon appropriate stimulation. B cells: Types and Functions in the bone Bone Bone is a compact type of hardened connective tissue composed of bone cells, membranes, an extracellular mineralized matrix, and central bone marrow. The 2 primary types of bone are compact and spongy. Bones: Structure and Types marrow:
      • Cells become immunologically dysfunctional. 
      • About 1% per year progress to CLL.
    • Manifestations seen:
      • Lymphadenopathy Lymphadenopathy Lymphadenopathy is lymph node enlargement (> 1 cm) and is benign and self-limited in most patients. Etiologies include malignancy, infection, and autoimmune disorders, as well as iatrogenic causes such as the use of certain medications. Generalized lymphadenopathy often indicates underlying systemic disease. Lymphadenopathy
      • Hepatosplenomegaly Hepatosplenomegaly Cytomegalovirus
      • Other cell line cytopenias Cytopenias IPEX Syndrome ( erythrocytes Erythrocytes Erythrocytes, or red blood cells (RBCs), are the most abundant cells in the blood. While erythrocytes in the fetus are initially produced in the yolk sac then the liver, the bone marrow eventually becomes the main site of production. Erythrocytes: Histology and platelets Platelets Platelets are small cell fragments involved in hemostasis. Thrombopoiesis takes place primarily in the bone marrow through a series of cell differentiation and is influenced by several cytokines. Platelets are formed after fragmentation of the megakaryocyte cytoplasm. Platelets: Histology)
      • Hypogammaglobulinemia Hypogammaglobulinemia Selective IgA Deficiency and neutropenia Neutropenia Neutrophils are an important component of the immune system and play a significant role in the eradication of infections. Low numbers of circulating neutrophils, referred to as neutropenia, predispose the body to recurrent infections or sepsis, though patients can also be asymptomatic. Neutropenia, resulting in increased risk of infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease
  • CLL/SLL can transform to more aggressive and more resistant forms (i.e., evolves histologically to diffuse large B-cell lymphoma B-cell lymphoma A group of heterogeneous lymphoid tumors generally expressing one or more b-cell antigens or representing malignant transformations of B-lymphocytes. Selective IgA Deficiency through Richter transformation Transformation Change brought about to an organism’s genetic composition by unidirectional transfer (transfection; transduction, genetic; conjugation, genetic, etc.) and incorporation of foreign DNA into prokaryotic or eukaryotic cells by recombination of part or all of that DNA into the cell’s genome. Bacteriology).

Clinical Presentation

History

  • 20%–50% are asymptomatic at presentation:
    • Lymphocytosis Lymphocytosis WBCs develop from stem cells in the bone marrow and are called leukocytes when circulating in the bloodstream. Lymphocytes are 1 of the 5 subclasses of WBCs. Lymphocytosis is an increase in the number or proportion of the lymphocyte subclass of WBCs, often as a result of an immune response to infection (known as reactive lymphocytosis). Lymphocytosis noted incidentally on routine lab exam.
    • History of painless swelling Swelling Inflammation of lymph Lymph The interstitial fluid that is in the lymphatic system. Secondary Lymphatic Organs nodes is reported.
  •  Insidious onset of “B” symptoms:
    • Weight loss Weight loss Decrease in existing body weight. Bariatric Surgery
    • Fatigue Fatigue The state of weariness following a period of exertion, mental or physical, characterized by a decreased capacity for work and reduced efficiency to respond to stimuli. Fibromyalgia
    • Fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever and night sweats Night sweats Tuberculosis without evidence of infection
  • Recurrent opportunistic infections Opportunistic infections An infection caused by an organism which becomes pathogenic under certain conditions, e.g., during immunosuppression. Autosomal Dominant Hyperimmunoglobulin E Syndrome

Physical examination

  • Painless lymphadenopathy Lymphadenopathy Lymphadenopathy is lymph node enlargement (> 1 cm) and is benign and self-limited in most patients. Etiologies include malignancy, infection, and autoimmune disorders, as well as iatrogenic causes such as the use of certain medications. Generalized lymphadenopathy often indicates underlying systemic disease. Lymphadenopathy in 50%–90% of patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship (most common finding):
    • Can be generalized or localized
    • Size is variable Variable Variables represent information about something that can change. The design of the measurement scales, or of the methods for obtaining information, will determine the data gathered and the characteristics of that data. As a result, a variable can be qualitative or quantitative, and may be further classified into subgroups. Types of Variables.
    • Most common locations:
      • Cervical
      • Supraclavicular
      • Axillary
    • Characteristics:
      • Firm
      • Rounded
      • Discrete
      • Nontender
      • Mobile on palpation Palpation Application of fingers with light pressure to the surface of the body to determine consistency of parts beneath in physical diagnosis; includes palpation for determining the outlines of organs. Dermatologic Examination
  • Splenomegaly Splenomegaly Splenomegaly is pathologic enlargement of the spleen that is attributable to numerous causes, including infections, hemoglobinopathies, infiltrative processes, and outflow obstruction of the portal vein. Splenomegaly: palpably enlarged in 25%–55% of cases
  • Hepatomegaly: palpably enlarged in 15%–25% of cases
  • Skin Skin The skin, also referred to as the integumentary system, is the largest organ of the body. The skin is primarily composed of the epidermis (outer layer) and dermis (deep layer). The epidermis is primarily composed of keratinocytes that undergo rapid turnover, while the dermis contains dense layers of connective tissue. Skin: Structure and Functions infiltration ( leukemia cutis Leukemia Cutis Acute Myeloid Leukemia): 
    • Mostly involves the face (lesions can be macules, papules, ulcers)
    • Seen in < 5% of cases
    • Poor prognosis Prognosis A prediction of the probable outcome of a disease based on a individual’s condition and the usual course of the disease as seen in similar situations. Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas if with Richter transformation Transformation Change brought about to an organism’s genetic composition by unidirectional transfer (transfection; transduction, genetic; conjugation, genetic, etc.) and incorporation of foreign DNA into prokaryotic or eukaryotic cells by recombination of part or all of that DNA into the cell’s genome. Bacteriology
Appearance of a patient with a rare chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Rare CLL infiltration of the ears, eyebrows, and nose Nose The nose is the human body’s primary organ of smell and functions as part of the upper respiratory system. The nose may be best known for inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide, but it also contributes to other important functions, such as tasting. The anatomy of the nose can be divided into the external nose and the nasal cavity. Nose and Nasal Cavity: Anatomy (A) and the toes (B). Bilateral nonpitting edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema on the backs of the hands (C).

Image: “Cutaneous manifestations in a patient with chronic lymphocytic leukemia involving the head, neck Neck The part of a human or animal body connecting the head to the rest of the body. Peritonsillar Abscess and distal extremities” by Lu C, Li L, Qiao Q, Liu G, Fang L. License: CC BY 3.0

Diagnosis

Diagnosis

  • CBC:
    • Lymphocytosis Lymphocytosis WBCs develop from stem cells in the bone marrow and are called leukocytes when circulating in the bloodstream. Lymphocytes are 1 of the 5 subclasses of WBCs. Lymphocytosis is an increase in the number or proportion of the lymphocyte subclass of WBCs, often as a result of an immune response to infection (known as reactive lymphocytosis). Lymphocytosis: lymphocytes Lymphocytes Lymphocytes are heterogeneous WBCs involved in immune response. Lymphocytes develop from the bone marrow, starting from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and progressing to common lymphoid progenitors (CLPs). B and T lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cells arise from the lineage. Lymphocytes: Histology ≥ 5000/μL and may be as high as 100,000 (≥ 3 months)
    • Anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types 
    • Thrombocytopenia Thrombocytopenia Thrombocytopenia occurs when the platelet count is < 150,000 per microliter. The normal range for platelets is usually 150,000-450,000/µL of whole blood. Thrombocytopenia can be a result of decreased production, increased destruction, or splenic sequestration of platelets. Patients are often asymptomatic until platelet counts are < 50,000/µL. Thrombocytopenia
    • Neutropenia Neutropenia Neutrophils are an important component of the immune system and play a significant role in the eradication of infections. Low numbers of circulating neutrophils, referred to as neutropenia, predispose the body to recurrent infections or sepsis, though patients can also be asymptomatic. Neutropenia
  • Peripheral blood smear Blood smear Myeloperoxidase Deficiency:
    • Lymphocytosis Lymphocytosis WBCs develop from stem cells in the bone marrow and are called leukocytes when circulating in the bloodstream. Lymphocytes are 1 of the 5 subclasses of WBCs. Lymphocytosis is an increase in the number or proportion of the lymphocyte subclass of WBCs, often as a result of an immune response to infection (known as reactive lymphocytosis). Lymphocytosis
    • Smudge cells (smeared-out lymphocytes Lymphocytes Lymphocytes are heterogeneous WBCs involved in immune response. Lymphocytes develop from the bone marrow, starting from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and progressing to common lymphoid progenitors (CLPs). B and T lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cells arise from the lineage. Lymphocytes: Histology) present
    • Small, monomorphic lymphocytes Lymphocytes Lymphocytes are heterogeneous WBCs involved in immune response. Lymphocytes develop from the bone marrow, starting from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and progressing to common lymphoid progenitors (CLPs). B and T lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cells arise from the lineage. Lymphocytes: Histology with “cracked”/“cracked earth” chromatin Chromatin The material of chromosomes. It is a complex of dna; histones; and nonhistone proteins found within the nucleus of a cell. DNA Types and Structure
  •   Flow Flow Blood flows through the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins in a closed, continuous circuit. Flow is the movement of volume per unit of time. Flow is affected by the pressure gradient and the resistance fluid encounters between 2 points. Vascular resistance is the opposition to flow, which is caused primarily by blood friction against vessel walls. Vascular Resistance, Flow, and Mean Arterial Pressure cytometry (immunophenotypic analysis tests):
    • Antibodies Antibodies Immunoglobulins (Igs), also known as antibodies, are glycoprotein molecules produced by plasma cells that act in immune responses by recognizing and binding particular antigens. The various Ig classes are IgG (the most abundant), IgM, IgE, IgD, and IgA, which differ in their biologic features, structure, target specificity, and distribution. Immunoglobulins: Types and Functions specific to proteins Proteins Linear polypeptides that are synthesized on ribosomes and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of amino acids determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during protein folding, and the function of the protein. Energy Homeostasis on the surface of B cells B cells Lymphoid cells concerned with humoral immunity. They are short-lived cells resembling bursa-derived lymphocytes of birds in their production of immunoglobulin upon appropriate stimulation. B cells: Types and Functions (such as CD5, CD19, CD20, and CD23)
    • Kappa and lambda immunoglobulin light chains Light chains Polypeptide chains, consisting of 211 to 217 amino acid residues and having a molecular weight of approximately 22 kda. There are two major types of light chains, kappa and lambda. Two ig light chains and two ig heavy chains (immunoglobulin heavy chains) make one immunoglobulin molecule. Immunoglobulins: Types and Functions
  • Immunoglobulins Immunoglobulins Immunoglobulins (Igs), also known as antibodies, are glycoprotein molecules produced by plasma cells that act in immune responses by recognizing and binding particular antigens. The various Ig classes are IgG (the most abundant), IgM, IgE, IgD, and IgA, which differ in their biologic features, structure, target specificity, and distribution. Immunoglobulins: Types and Functions
  • Other laboratory findings: 
    • LDH LDH Osteosarcoma
    • ↑ β₂-microglobulin
    • AST AST Enzymes of the transferase class that catalyze the conversion of l-aspartate and 2-ketoglutarate to oxaloacetate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests, ALT ALT An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of l-alanine and 2-oxoglutarate to pyruvate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests
    • Uric acid Uric acid An oxidation product, via xanthine oxidase, of oxypurines such as xanthine and hypoxanthine. It is the final oxidation product of purine catabolism in humans and primates, whereas in most other mammals urate oxidase further oxidizes it to allantoin. Nephrolithiasis
  • Bone Bone Bone is a compact type of hardened connective tissue composed of bone cells, membranes, an extracellular mineralized matrix, and central bone marrow. The 2 primary types of bone are compact and spongy. Bones: Structure and Types marrow aspiration and biopsy Biopsy Removal and pathologic examination of specimens from the living body. Ewing Sarcoma:
    • Not required for diagnosis of CLL
    • Normal to increased cellularity
    • Lymphocytes Lymphocytes Lymphocytes are heterogeneous WBCs involved in immune response. Lymphocytes develop from the bone marrow, starting from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and progressing to common lymphoid progenitors (CLPs). B and T lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cells arise from the lineage. Lymphocytes: Histology > 30% of all nucleated cells 
  • Lymph Lymph The interstitial fluid that is in the lymphatic system. Secondary Lymphatic Organs node biopsy Biopsy Removal and pathologic examination of specimens from the living body. Ewing Sarcoma:
    • Performed if with lymph Lymph The interstitial fluid that is in the lymphatic system. Secondary Lymphatic Organs node enlargement
    • Involved node is diffusely effaced. 
    • Small lymphocytes Lymphocytes Lymphocytes are heterogeneous WBCs involved in immune response. Lymphocytes develop from the bone marrow, starting from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and progressing to common lymphoid progenitors (CLPs). B and T lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cells arise from the lineage. Lymphocytes: Histology with irregular nuclei and condensed chromatin Chromatin The material of chromosomes. It is a complex of dna; histones; and nonhistone proteins found within the nucleus of a cell. DNA Types and Structure
    • Pseudofollicles or proliferation centers (pool of predominantly paraimmunoblasts and prolymphocytes): pathognomonic of CLL/SLL
  • FISH FISH A type of in situ hybridization in which target sequences are stained with fluorescent dye so their location and size can be determined using fluorescence microscopy. This staining is sufficiently distinct that the hybridization signal can be seen both in metaphase spreads and in interphase nuclei. Chromosome Testing analysis: detects genetic abnormalities/mutations associated with CLL
Blood smear from an adult with marked lymphocytosis

Blood smear Blood smear Myeloperoxidase Deficiency from an adult man with marked lymphocytosis Lymphocytosis WBCs develop from stem cells in the bone marrow and are called leukocytes when circulating in the bloodstream. Lymphocytes are 1 of the 5 subclasses of WBCs. Lymphocytosis is an increase in the number or proportion of the lymphocyte subclass of WBCs, often as a result of an immune response to infection (known as reactive lymphocytosis). Lymphocytosis:
The predominant lymphocytes Lymphocytes Lymphocytes are heterogeneous WBCs involved in immune response. Lymphocytes develop from the bone marrow, starting from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and progressing to common lymphoid progenitors (CLPs). B and T lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cells arise from the lineage. Lymphocytes: Histology have very sparse pale cytoplasm, round to slightly oval nuclei, and no evident nucleoli, and 3 damaged “smudge cells” are present, characteristic of the majority of cases of CLL.

Image: “B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL)” by The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP). License: Public Domain

Imaging

  • Abdominal ultrasonography: hepatosplenomegaly Hepatosplenomegaly Cytomegalovirus
  • CT scan: if enlarged abdominal or pelvic nodes are suspected based on evidence of complications, such as jaundice Jaundice Jaundice is the abnormal yellowing of the skin and/or sclera caused by the accumulation of bilirubin. Hyperbilirubinemia is caused by either an increase in bilirubin production or a decrease in the hepatic uptake, conjugation, or excretion of bilirubin. Jaundice or ureteral obstruction Ureteral obstruction Blockage in any part of the ureter causing obstruction of urine flow from the kidney to the urinary bladder. The obstruction may be congenital, acquired, unilateral, bilateral, complete, partial, acute, or chronic. Depending on the degree and duration of the obstruction, clinical features vary greatly such as hydronephrosis and obstructive nephropathy. Vesicoureteral Reflux

Staging

Binet staging Staging Methods which attempt to express in replicable terms the extent of the neoplasm in the patient. Grading, Staging, and Metastasis system

Based on the involvement of 5 possible lymphoid-bearing areas ( lymph Lymph The interstitial fluid that is in the lymphatic system. Secondary Lymphatic Organs node enlargement is ≥ 1 cm): 

  • Cervical lymph Lymph The interstitial fluid that is in the lymphatic system. Secondary Lymphatic Organs nodes
  • Axillary lymph Lymph The interstitial fluid that is in the lymphatic system. Secondary Lymphatic Organs nodes
  • Inguinofemoral lymph Lymph The interstitial fluid that is in the lymphatic system. Secondary Lymphatic Organs nodes
  • Spleen Spleen The spleen is the largest lymphoid organ in the body, located in the LUQ of the abdomen, superior to the left kidney and posterior to the stomach at the level of the 9th-11th ribs just below the diaphragm. The spleen is highly vascular and acts as an important blood filter, cleansing the blood of pathogens and damaged erythrocytes. Spleen: Anatomy
  • Liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy 
Table: Binet staging Staging Methods which attempt to express in replicable terms the extent of the neoplasm in the patient. Grading, Staging, and Metastasis system
Stage Description Survival
A (low risk) ≤ 2 lymphoid areas enlarged Same as age-matched controls
B (intermediate risk) ≥ 3 lymphoid areas enlarged 84 months
C (high risk) Presence of anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types ( Hb Hb The oxygen-carrying proteins of erythrocytes. They are found in all vertebrates and some invertebrates. The number of globin subunits in the hemoglobin quaternary structure differs between species. Structures range from monomeric to a variety of multimeric arrangements. Gas Exchange < 10 g/dL) or thrombocytopenia Thrombocytopenia Thrombocytopenia occurs when the platelet count is < 150,000 per microliter. The normal range for platelets is usually 150,000-450,000/µL of whole blood. Thrombocytopenia can be a result of decreased production, increased destruction, or splenic sequestration of platelets. Patients are often asymptomatic until platelet counts are < 50,000/µL. Thrombocytopenia ( platelets Platelets Platelets are small cell fragments involved in hemostasis. Thrombopoiesis takes place primarily in the bone marrow through a series of cell differentiation and is influenced by several cytokines. Platelets are formed after fragmentation of the megakaryocyte cytoplasm. Platelets: Histology < 100,000/µL) 24 months

Rai staging Staging Methods which attempt to express in replicable terms the extent of the neoplasm in the patient. Grading, Staging, and Metastasis system

Classifying 3 different stages, based on:

  • Physical examination findings
  • CBC
Table: Rai staging Staging Methods which attempt to express in replicable terms the extent of the neoplasm in the patient. Grading, Staging, and Metastasis system
Risk Stage Description Survival
Low 0 Lymphocytosis Lymphocytosis WBCs develop from stem cells in the bone marrow and are called leukocytes when circulating in the bloodstream. Lymphocytes are 1 of the 5 subclasses of WBCs. Lymphocytosis is an increase in the number or proportion of the lymphocyte subclass of WBCs, often as a result of an immune response to infection (known as reactive lymphocytosis). Lymphocytosis in blood or bone Bone Bone is a compact type of hardened connective tissue composed of bone cells, membranes, an extracellular mineralized matrix, and central bone marrow. The 2 primary types of bone are compact and spongy. Bones: Structure and Types marrow > 150 months
Intermediate I Lymphocytosis Lymphocytosis WBCs develop from stem cells in the bone marrow and are called leukocytes when circulating in the bloodstream. Lymphocytes are 1 of the 5 subclasses of WBCs. Lymphocytosis is an increase in the number or proportion of the lymphocyte subclass of WBCs, often as a result of an immune response to infection (known as reactive lymphocytosis). Lymphocytosis + enlarged lymph Lymph The interstitial fluid that is in the lymphatic system. Secondary Lymphatic Organs nodes 101 months
II Lymphocytosis Lymphocytosis WBCs develop from stem cells in the bone marrow and are called leukocytes when circulating in the bloodstream. Lymphocytes are 1 of the 5 subclasses of WBCs. Lymphocytosis is an increase in the number or proportion of the lymphocyte subclass of WBCs, often as a result of an immune response to infection (known as reactive lymphocytosis). Lymphocytosis + enlarged liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy or spleen Spleen The spleen is the largest lymphoid organ in the body, located in the LUQ of the abdomen, superior to the left kidney and posterior to the stomach at the level of the 9th-11th ribs just below the diaphragm. The spleen is highly vascular and acts as an important blood filter, cleansing the blood of pathogens and damaged erythrocytes. Spleen: Anatomy with or without lymphadenopathy Lymphadenopathy Lymphadenopathy is lymph node enlargement (> 1 cm) and is benign and self-limited in most patients. Etiologies include malignancy, infection, and autoimmune disorders, as well as iatrogenic causes such as the use of certain medications. Generalized lymphadenopathy often indicates underlying systemic disease. Lymphadenopathy 71 months
High III Lymphocytosis Lymphocytosis WBCs develop from stem cells in the bone marrow and are called leukocytes when circulating in the bloodstream. Lymphocytes are 1 of the 5 subclasses of WBCs. Lymphocytosis is an increase in the number or proportion of the lymphocyte subclass of WBCs, often as a result of an immune response to infection (known as reactive lymphocytosis). Lymphocytosis + anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types (hemoglobin < 11 g/dL) with or without enlarged liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy, spleen Spleen The spleen is the largest lymphoid organ in the body, located in the LUQ of the abdomen, superior to the left kidney and posterior to the stomach at the level of the 9th-11th ribs just below the diaphragm. The spleen is highly vascular and acts as an important blood filter, cleansing the blood of pathogens and damaged erythrocytes. Spleen: Anatomy, or lymph Lymph The interstitial fluid that is in the lymphatic system. Secondary Lymphatic Organs nodes 19 months
IV Lymphocytosis Lymphocytosis WBCs develop from stem cells in the bone marrow and are called leukocytes when circulating in the bloodstream. Lymphocytes are 1 of the 5 subclasses of WBCs. Lymphocytosis is an increase in the number or proportion of the lymphocyte subclass of WBCs, often as a result of an immune response to infection (known as reactive lymphocytosis). Lymphocytosis + thrombocytopenia Thrombocytopenia Thrombocytopenia occurs when the platelet count is < 150,000 per microliter. The normal range for platelets is usually 150,000-450,000/µL of whole blood. Thrombocytopenia can be a result of decreased production, increased destruction, or splenic sequestration of platelets. Patients are often asymptomatic until platelet counts are < 50,000/µL. Thrombocytopenia (platelet count < 100,000/µL) with or without anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types or enlarged liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy, spleen Spleen The spleen is the largest lymphoid organ in the body, located in the LUQ of the abdomen, superior to the left kidney and posterior to the stomach at the level of the 9th-11th ribs just below the diaphragm. The spleen is highly vascular and acts as an important blood filter, cleansing the blood of pathogens and damaged erythrocytes. Spleen: Anatomy, or lymph Lymph The interstitial fluid that is in the lymphatic system. Secondary Lymphatic Organs nodes

Other variables

  • Other factors considered that affect Affect The feeling-tone accompaniment of an idea or mental representation. It is the most direct psychic derivative of instinct and the psychic representative of the various bodily changes by means of which instincts manifest themselves. Psychiatric Assessment clinical outcomes:
    • Lymphocyte doubling time (LDT) (< 12 months = aggressive disease)
    • β₂-microglobulin levels (higher level = poorer prognosis Prognosis A prediction of the probable outcome of a disease based on a individual’s condition and the usual course of the disease as seen in similar situations. Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas)
    • Genetic abnormalities such as:
      • del(17p) mutations (worse outcome with chemoimmunotherapy chemoimmunotherapy Manipulation of the host’s immune system in treatment of disease. It includes both active and passive immunization as well as immunosuppressive therapy to prevent graft rejection. Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas)
      • TP53 mutations (worse outcome with chemoimmunotherapy chemoimmunotherapy Manipulation of the host’s immune system in treatment of disease. It includes both active and passive immunization as well as immunosuppressive therapy to prevent graft rejection. Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas)
      • Unmutated immunoglobulin heavy chain variable Variable Variables represent information about something that can change. The design of the measurement scales, or of the methods for obtaining information, will determine the data gathered and the characteristics of that data. As a result, a variable can be qualitative or quantitative, and may be further classified into subgroups. Types of Variables (IGHV) region (shorter survival)
  • The del(17p) mutation Mutation Genetic mutations are errors in DNA that can cause protein misfolding and dysfunction. There are various types of mutations, including chromosomal, point, frameshift, and expansion mutations. Types of Mutations, TP53 mutation Mutation Genetic mutations are errors in DNA that can cause protein misfolding and dysfunction. There are various types of mutations, including chromosomal, point, frameshift, and expansion mutations. Types of Mutations, and IGHV mutation Mutation Genetic mutations are errors in DNA that can cause protein misfolding and dysfunction. There are various types of mutations, including chromosomal, point, frameshift, and expansion mutations. Types of Mutations status affect Affect The feeling-tone accompaniment of an idea or mental representation. It is the most direct psychic derivative of instinct and the psychic representative of the various bodily changes by means of which instincts manifest themselves. Psychiatric Assessment choice of treatment (i.e., positive response to targeted therapy Targeted Therapy Targeted therapy exerts antineoplastic activity against cancer cells by interfering with unique properties found in tumors or malignancies. The types of drugs can be small molecules, which are able to enter cells, or monoclonal antibodies, which have targets outside of or on the surface of cells. Targeted and Other Nontraditional Antineoplastic Therapy).

Management and Prognosis

Management principles

  • Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation is the only known cure.
  • Not all patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with CLL require treatment, as staging Staging Methods which attempt to express in replicable terms the extent of the neoplasm in the patient. Grading, Staging, and Metastasis has shown that some individuals have survival similar to that of the general population.
    • Keep vaccinations up to date.
    • Follow patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship for the most common disease-related complications:
      • Infection
      • Anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types
      • Thrombocytopenia Thrombocytopenia Thrombocytopenia occurs when the platelet count is < 150,000 per microliter. The normal range for platelets is usually 150,000-450,000/µL of whole blood. Thrombocytopenia can be a result of decreased production, increased destruction, or splenic sequestration of platelets. Patients are often asymptomatic until platelet counts are < 50,000/µL. Thrombocytopenia
      • Tumor lysis syndrome Tumor lysis syndrome Tumor lysis syndrome is a potentially lethal group of metabolic disturbances that occurs when large numbers of cancer cells are killed rapidly. The lysed cells release their intracellular contents into the bloodstream, resulting in the development of hyperkalemia, hyperuricemia, hyperphosphatemia, hypocalcemia, and acute kidney injury. Tumor Lysis Syndrome

Observation

  • Recommended for patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with SLL with single nodal site and early-stage asymptomatic CLL:
    • Binet stage A or B
    • Rai stage < III
  • Clinical examination and CBC every 3 months for 1 year:
    • Decide whether the patient has aggressive disease based on findings.
    • Those with clinically stable disease can have longer intervals between examinations.
  • Some patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship would require treatment within a few years, but others can remain without symptoms and not require treatment for many years.

Treatment

  • Recommended for patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with symptomatic or active disease:
    • Advanced stage (Binet stage C, Rai stage III or IV)
    • Progressive lymphocytosis Lymphocytosis WBCs develop from stem cells in the bone marrow and are called leukocytes when circulating in the bloodstream. Lymphocytes are 1 of the 5 subclasses of WBCs. Lymphocytosis is an increase in the number or proportion of the lymphocyte subclass of WBCs, often as a result of an immune response to infection (known as reactive lymphocytosis). Lymphocytosis (LDT < 6 months)
    • Progressive marrow failure (i.e., worsening anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types, thrombocytopenia Thrombocytopenia Thrombocytopenia occurs when the platelet count is < 150,000 per microliter. The normal range for platelets is usually 150,000-450,000/µL of whole blood. Thrombocytopenia can be a result of decreased production, increased destruction, or splenic sequestration of platelets. Patients are often asymptomatic until platelet counts are < 50,000/µL. Thrombocytopenia)
    • Massive or enlarging splenomegaly Splenomegaly Splenomegaly is pathologic enlargement of the spleen that is attributable to numerous causes, including infections, hemoglobinopathies, infiltrative processes, and outflow obstruction of the portal vein. Splenomegaly
    • Enlarging or symptomatic lymphadenopathy Lymphadenopathy Lymphadenopathy is lymph node enlargement (> 1 cm) and is benign and self-limited in most patients. Etiologies include malignancy, infection, and autoimmune disorders, as well as iatrogenic causes such as the use of certain medications. Generalized lymphadenopathy often indicates underlying systemic disease. Lymphadenopathy (e.g., compressive laryngeal symptoms)
    • “B” symptoms:
      • Unintentional weight loss Weight loss Decrease in existing body weight. Bariatric Surgery > 10% over 6 months
      • Symptoms (e.g., fatigue Fatigue The state of weariness following a period of exertion, mental or physical, characterized by a decreased capacity for work and reduced efficiency to respond to stimuli. Fibromyalgia) that impair work or activities of daily living
      • Prolonged fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever or night sweats Night sweats Tuberculosis without evidence of infection
  • Treatment options: 
    • No standard 1st-line treatment regimen 
    • Different factors are considered in the choice of therapies (i.e., patient performance status, associated mutations, goals of care).
    • With unmutated IGHV status, genetic mutation Mutation Genetic mutations are errors in DNA that can cause protein misfolding and dysfunction. There are various types of mutations, including chromosomal, point, frameshift, and expansion mutations. Types of Mutations del(17p) or TP53, targeted therapies achieve better responses: 
    • With mutated IGHV status, targeted therapy Targeted Therapy Targeted therapy exerts antineoplastic activity against cancer cells by interfering with unique properties found in tumors or malignancies. The types of drugs can be small molecules, which are able to enter cells, or monoclonal antibodies, which have targets outside of or on the surface of cells. Targeted and Other Nontraditional Antineoplastic Therapy is an option, but chemoimmunotherapy chemoimmunotherapy Manipulation of the host’s immune system in treatment of disease. It includes both active and passive immunization as well as immunosuppressive therapy to prevent graft rejection. Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas is also considered for fit patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship:
      • Fludarabine Fludarabine Antimetabolite Chemotherapy, cyclophosphamide Cyclophosphamide Precursor of an alkylating nitrogen mustard antineoplastic and immunosuppressive agent that must be activated in the liver to form the active aldophosphamide. It has been used in the treatment of lymphoma and leukemia. Its side effect, alopecia, has been used for defleecing sheep. Cyclophosphamide may also cause sterility, birth defects, mutations, and cancer. Immunosuppressants, rituximab Rituximab A murine-derived monoclonal antibody and antineoplastic agent that binds specifically to the cd20 antigen and is used in the treatment of leukemia; lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis. Immunosuppressants
      • Chlorambucil-based regimen
      • Bendamustine Bendamustine A nitrogen mustard compound that functions as an alkylating antineoplastic agent and is used in the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Alkylating Agents and Platinum and rituximab Rituximab A murine-derived monoclonal antibody and antineoplastic agent that binds specifically to the cd20 antigen and is used in the treatment of leukemia; lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis. Immunosuppressants
    • If relapsed CLL, consider allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation Transfer of hematopoietic stem cells from bone marrow or blood between individuals within the same species (homologous transplantation) or transfer within the same individual (autologous transplantation). Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation has been used as an alternative to bone marrow transplantation in the treatment of a variety of neoplasms. Organ Transplantation (for fit patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship)

Richter transformation Transformation Change brought about to an organism’s genetic composition by unidirectional transfer (transfection; transduction, genetic; conjugation, genetic, etc.) and incorporation of foreign DNA into prokaryotic or eukaryotic cells by recombination of part or all of that DNA into the cell’s genome. Bacteriology

  • Richter transformation Transformation Change brought about to an organism’s genetic composition by unidirectional transfer (transfection; transduction, genetic; conjugation, genetic, etc.) and incorporation of foreign DNA into prokaryotic or eukaryotic cells by recombination of part or all of that DNA into the cell’s genome. Bacteriology (RT) is the development of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma B-cell lymphoma A group of heterogeneous lymphoid tumors generally expressing one or more b-cell antigens or representing malignant transformations of B-lymphocytes. Selective IgA Deficiency in patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with CLL/SLL.
  • Seen in 2%–9% of patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with CLL
  • Median Median After arranging the data from loWest to highest, the median is the middle value, separating the lower half from the upper half of the data set. Measures of Central Tendency and Dispersion time to transformation Transformation Change brought about to an organism’s genetic composition by unidirectional transfer (transfection; transduction, genetic; conjugation, genetic, etc.) and incorporation of foreign DNA into prokaryotic or eukaryotic cells by recombination of part or all of that DNA into the cell’s genome. Bacteriology: 23 months after diagnosis
  • Manifested by:
    • Significant increase in lymphadenopathy Lymphadenopathy Lymphadenopathy is lymph node enlargement (> 1 cm) and is benign and self-limited in most patients. Etiologies include malignancy, infection, and autoimmune disorders, as well as iatrogenic causes such as the use of certain medications. Generalized lymphadenopathy often indicates underlying systemic disease. Lymphadenopathy at 1 or more sites
    • Splenomegaly Splenomegaly Splenomegaly is pathologic enlargement of the spleen that is attributable to numerous causes, including infections, hemoglobinopathies, infiltrative processes, and outflow obstruction of the portal vein. Splenomegaly
    • Increase in constitutional symptoms Constitutional Symptoms Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody (ANCA)-Associated Vasculitis
  • Lab findings:
    • Elevated LDH LDH Osteosarcoma in > 50% of patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with RT
    • Anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types, with Hb Hb The oxygen-carrying proteins of erythrocytes. They are found in all vertebrates and some invertebrates. The number of globin subunits in the hemoglobin quaternary structure differs between species. Structures range from monomeric to a variety of multimeric arrangements. Gas Exchange < 11 g/dL
    • Thrombocytopenia Thrombocytopenia Thrombocytopenia occurs when the platelet count is < 150,000 per microliter. The normal range for platelets is usually 150,000-450,000/µL of whole blood. Thrombocytopenia can be a result of decreased production, increased destruction, or splenic sequestration of platelets. Patients are often asymptomatic until platelet counts are < 50,000/µL. Thrombocytopenia, with platelet count < 100,000 
  • Rapidly progressive, with survival approximately 5–8 months after transformation Transformation Change brought about to an organism’s genetic composition by unidirectional transfer (transfection; transduction, genetic; conjugation, genetic, etc.) and incorporation of foreign DNA into prokaryotic or eukaryotic cells by recombination of part or all of that DNA into the cell’s genome. Bacteriology
  • Diagnosis is made by biopsy Biopsy Removal and pathologic examination of specimens from the living body. Ewing Sarcoma of an enlarging lymph Lymph The interstitial fluid that is in the lymphatic system. Secondary Lymphatic Organs node or other worrisome sites.
  • Treatment: regimen of chemotherapy Chemotherapy Osteosarcoma and rituximab Rituximab A murine-derived monoclonal antibody and antineoplastic agent that binds specifically to the cd20 antigen and is used in the treatment of leukemia; lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis. Immunosuppressants (similar to that for aggressive lymphoma Lymphoma A general term for various neoplastic diseases of the lymphoid tissue. Imaging of the Mediastinum).

Prognosis Prognosis A prediction of the probable outcome of a disease based on a individual’s condition and the usual course of the disease as seen in similar situations. Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas

  • Median Median After arranging the data from loWest to highest, the median is the middle value, separating the lower half from the upper half of the data set. Measures of Central Tendency and Dispersion survival: approximately 10 years
  • In < 30% of patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship, a benign Benign Fibroadenoma clinical course of up to 20 years is seen, with cause of death that is not related to CLL.
  • Those with aggressive disease go through a rapid decline and die from complications related to CLL.
  • Patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship who are on treatment may have partial to complete response, but eventually relapse Relapse Relapsing Fever occurs.

Differential Diagnosis

  • Hairy cell leukemia Hairy cell leukemia Hairy cell leukemia (HCL) is a rare, chronic, B-cell leukemia characterized by the accumulation of small mature B lymphocytes that have “hair-like projections” visible on microscopy. The abnormal cells accumulate in the peripheral blood, bone marrow (causing fibrosis), and red pulp of the spleen, leading to cytopenias. Hairy Cell Leukemia: rare, chronic B-cell leukemia characterized by the accumulation of small mature B lymphocytes Lymphocytes Lymphocytes are heterogeneous WBCs involved in immune response. Lymphocytes develop from the bone marrow, starting from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and progressing to common lymphoid progenitors (CLPs). B and T lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cells arise from the lineage. Lymphocytes: Histology that have hair-like projections visible on microscopy. The abnormal cells accumulate in the peripheral blood, bone Bone Bone is a compact type of hardened connective tissue composed of bone cells, membranes, an extracellular mineralized matrix, and central bone marrow. The 2 primary types of bone are compact and spongy. Bones: Structure and Types marrow (causing fibrosis Fibrosis Any pathological condition where fibrous connective tissue invades any organ, usually as a consequence of inflammation or other injury. Bronchiolitis Obliterans), and spleen Spleen The spleen is the largest lymphoid organ in the body, located in the LUQ of the abdomen, superior to the left kidney and posterior to the stomach at the level of the 9th-11th ribs just below the diaphragm. The spleen is highly vascular and acts as an important blood filter, cleansing the blood of pathogens and damaged erythrocytes. Spleen: Anatomy. The condition is also seen in the elderly. In about 20% of cases, lymphocytosis Lymphocytosis WBCs develop from stem cells in the bone marrow and are called leukocytes when circulating in the bloodstream. Lymphocytes are 1 of the 5 subclasses of WBCs. Lymphocytosis is an increase in the number or proportion of the lymphocyte subclass of WBCs, often as a result of an immune response to infection (known as reactive lymphocytosis). Lymphocytosis with cytopenias Cytopenias IPEX Syndrome are seen. While CLL and hairy cell leukemia Hairy cell leukemia Hairy cell leukemia (HCL) is a rare, chronic, B-cell leukemia characterized by the accumulation of small mature B lymphocytes that have “hair-like projections” visible on microscopy. The abnormal cells accumulate in the peripheral blood, bone marrow (causing fibrosis), and red pulp of the spleen, leading to cytopenias. Hairy Cell Leukemia share features of splenomegaly Splenomegaly Splenomegaly is pathologic enlargement of the spleen that is attributable to numerous causes, including infections, hemoglobinopathies, infiltrative processes, and outflow obstruction of the portal vein. Splenomegaly and cytopenias Cytopenias IPEX Syndrome, lymph Lymph The interstitial fluid that is in the lymphatic system. Secondary Lymphatic Organs node involvement is not common in hairy cell leukemia Hairy cell leukemia Hairy cell leukemia (HCL) is a rare, chronic, B-cell leukemia characterized by the accumulation of small mature B lymphocytes that have “hair-like projections” visible on microscopy. The abnormal cells accumulate in the peripheral blood, bone marrow (causing fibrosis), and red pulp of the spleen, leading to cytopenias. Hairy Cell Leukemia.
  • Follicular lymphoma Lymphoma A general term for various neoplastic diseases of the lymphoid tissue. Imaging of the Mediastinum (FL), or nodular lymphoma Lymphoma A general term for various neoplastic diseases of the lymphoid tissue. Imaging of the Mediastinum: a common subtype of non-Hodgkin lymphoma Lymphoma A general term for various neoplastic diseases of the lymphoid tissue. Imaging of the Mediastinum. The condition presents with painless peripheral lymphadenopathy Lymphadenopathy Lymphadenopathy is lymph node enlargement (> 1 cm) and is benign and self-limited in most patients. Etiologies include malignancy, infection, and autoimmune disorders, as well as iatrogenic causes such as the use of certain medications. Generalized lymphadenopathy often indicates underlying systemic disease. Lymphadenopathy. Both CLL and FL have small tumor Tumor Inflammation cells, but FL has a notable nodular growth pattern. CLL at times has prominent proliferation centers that can look similar to FL. CD5 expressed in CLL is not a feature of FL.
  • Mantle cell lymphoma Lymphoma A general term for various neoplastic diseases of the lymphoid tissue. Imaging of the Mediastinum, or intermediate lymphocytic lymphoma Lymphoma A general term for various neoplastic diseases of the lymphoid tissue. Imaging of the Mediastinum: type of mature-B-cell neoplasm. The malignant cells of mantle cell lymphoma Lymphoma A general term for various neoplastic diseases of the lymphoid tissue. Imaging of the Mediastinum at times have similarities to CLL, having nuclear irregularities. There is also expression of CD5 and CD20. In contrast to CLL, though, mantle cell lymphoma Lymphoma A general term for various neoplastic diseases of the lymphoid tissue. Imaging of the Mediastinum stains positive for cyclin D1 Cyclin D1 Protein encoded by the bcl-1 gene which plays a critical role in regulating the cell cycle. Overexpression of cyclin D1 is the result of bcl-1 rearrangement, a t(11; 14) translocation, and is implicated in various neoplasms. Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas (which is negative in CLL).
  • Transient lymphocytosis Lymphocytosis WBCs develop from stem cells in the bone marrow and are called leukocytes when circulating in the bloodstream. Lymphocytes are 1 of the 5 subclasses of WBCs. Lymphocytosis is an increase in the number or proportion of the lymphocyte subclass of WBCs, often as a result of an immune response to infection (known as reactive lymphocytosis). Lymphocytosis: infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease such as infectious Infectious Febrile Infant mononucleosis Mononucleosis Infectious mononucleosis (IM), also known as “the kissing disease,” is a highly contagious viral infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. Its common name is derived from its main method of transmission: the spread of infected saliva via kissing. Clinical manifestations of IM include fever, tonsillar pharyngitis, and lymphadenopathy. Mononucleosis or toxoplasmosis Toxoplasmosis Toxoplasmosis is an infectious disease caused by Toxoplasma gondii, an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite. Felines are the definitive host, but transmission to humans can occur through contact with cat feces or the consumption of contaminated foods. The clinical presentation and complications depend on the host’s immune status. Toxoplasma/Toxoplasmosis can cause significant lymphocytosis Lymphocytosis WBCs develop from stem cells in the bone marrow and are called leukocytes when circulating in the bloodstream. Lymphocytes are 1 of the 5 subclasses of WBCs. Lymphocytosis is an increase in the number or proportion of the lymphocyte subclass of WBCs, often as a result of an immune response to infection (known as reactive lymphocytosis). Lymphocytosis. In infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease, though, the elevation of lymphocytes Lymphocytes Lymphocytes are heterogeneous WBCs involved in immune response. Lymphocytes develop from the bone marrow, starting from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and progressing to common lymphoid progenitors (CLPs). B and T lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cells arise from the lineage. Lymphocytes: Histology is temporary, often no more than a few weeks. The lymphocytes Lymphocytes Lymphocytes are heterogeneous WBCs involved in immune response. Lymphocytes develop from the bone marrow, starting from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and progressing to common lymphoid progenitors (CLPs). B and T lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cells arise from the lineage. Lymphocytes: Histology are not clonal and do not infiltrate the bone Bone Bone is a compact type of hardened connective tissue composed of bone cells, membranes, an extracellular mineralized matrix, and central bone marrow. The 2 primary types of bone are compact and spongy. Bones: Structure and Types marrow.

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