Simultaneous manifestation of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and hairy cell leukemia (HCL)


  • Lubomir Sokol,

    1. Department of Interdisciplinary Oncology, University of South Florida, H Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Florida
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  • Steven J. Agosti

    Corresponding author
    1. Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Service, James A. Haley Veterans Administrations Hospital, Tampa, Florida
    • James A. Haley, VA Hospital, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Service (113), 13000 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Tampa, FL 33612
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We report a unique case of 83-year-old Caucasian male with the initial simultaneous manifestation of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and hairy cell leukemia (HCL). The patient presented with absolute lymphocytosis in the blood, asymptomatic generalized lymphadenopathy, and mild splenomegaly. The diagnosis of CLL was suggested from the blood film, but subsequent flow cytometric (FC) analysis on peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMNC) revealed two distinct abnormal clones of mature B cells. A small subpopulation (7%) of lymphoid cells expressed CD20, CD11c, FMC-7, CD103, CD25, and kappa surface light chain, consistent with HCL. The larger subpopulation (75%) of lymphoid cells expressed CD19, CD20, CD23, CD5, and lambda light chain, consistent with CLL. The expression of different immunoglobulin light chains on the circulating CLL (lambda) and HCL (kappa) cells suggested two, independent, malignant B-cell clones. Interestingly, FC analysis of bone marrow (BM) cells done 6 months later revealed bright lambda light chain expression on the HCL cells. Despite administration of several different courses of chemotherapy, the HCL subpopulation was not eliminated from the BM but remained stable between 7% and 10% of total BM lymphoid cells. The CLL, responsible for most of clinical symptoms in our patient, responded to combination chemotherapy with fludarabine and cytoxan, and later to monotherapy with rituximab. Am. J. Hematol. 75:107–109, 2004. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.