De novo chronic lymphocytic leukemia/prolymphocytic leukemia or B-cell prolymphocytic leukemia? The importance of integrating clinico-morphological and immunophenotypic findings in distinguishing chronic lymphoproliferative diseases with circulating phase
Keywords:Immunophenotyping, Leukemia, Lymphoid, Lymphadenopathy, Rare Diseases
B-cell prolymphocytic leukemia (B-PLL) is an extremely rare disease, accounting for approximately 1% of the lymphocytic leukemias. B-PLL generally occurs in older people. It is characterized by the presence of more than 55% prolymphocytes in the peripheral blood (PB), no or minimal lymphadenopathy, massive splenomegaly, and very high white blood cell counts. The prognosis of B-PLL patients is generally poor, with a median survival of 3 years, although a subset of patients may show a prolonged survival. Herein, we report a case of a 70-year-old male with weakness, generalized lymphadenopathy, and moderate splenomegaly at the initial presentation. Hematologic examination revealed lymphocytic leukocytosis, favoring a chronic lymphoproliferative disorder (CLPD). The key to decoding the precise CLPD was a combination of the clinical profile, morphologic findings on the peripheral blood and the bone marrow, immunophenotypic analysis, and cytogenetic study. The best diagnosis proffered was a de novo chronic lymphocytic leukemia/prolymphocytic leukemia. There was no prior history of lymphoproliferative disorder or lymphocytic leukocytosis. Discriminating this entity from other lymphoproliferative disorders is crucial as the treatment and prognosis are varied compared to the other lymphoproliferative disorders. The diagnostic conundrum encountered and the incredible utility of ancillary studies in such a scenario are highlighted in this study.
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