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Keywords:

  • t(14;19);
  • chronic lymphocytic leukaemia;
  • atypical morphology;
  • immunophenotype;
  • bcl3

Summary

The t(14;19)(q32;q13), involving the BCL3 locus at chromosome 19q13 and the immunoglobulin heavy chain gene at 14q32, is a rare recurrent cytogenetic abnormality identified in B-cell neoplasms, most of which have been classified as chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) in the literature. We describe the clinicopathological, immunophenotypic and cytogenetic findings in seven patients with B-cell neoplasms associated with t(14;19)(q32;q13). There were five men and two women, with a median age of 48 years (range 33–68). All had absolute lymphocytosis, six had lymphadenopathy, and one had splenomegaly. Lymphocytes in blood and bone marrow aspirate smears were predominantly small and cytologically atypical. Flow cytometric immunophenotyping showed an atypical immunophenotype with low CLL scores. The growth pattern in bone marrow biopsy specimens was interstitial to diffuse; immunohistochemical stains were positive for bcl3 and negative for cyclin D1. Lymph node biopsy specimens of two patients revealed total architectural effacement by neoplasm with proliferation centres. In addition to t(14;19), cytogenetic studies demonstrated trisomy 12 in five patients. These results suggest that B-cell neoplasms with the t(14;19)(q32;q13) present frequently as leukaemia composed of small B-lymphocytes and share many features with CLL. However, these neoplasms also differ from CLL cytologically and in their immunophenotype.