Untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia concurrent with or followed by acute myelogenous leukemia or myelodysplastic syndrome. A report of five cases and review of the literature

Lai, R.; Arber, D.A.; Brynes, R.K.; Chan, O.; Chang, K.L.

American Journal of Clinical Pathology 111(3): 373-378


ISSN/ISBN: 0002-9173
PMID: 10078113
DOI: 10.1093/ajcp/111.3.373
Accession: 011614464

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Although it has been known that patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) have a higher frequency of second malignant neoplasms, the development of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) or myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) in these patients is extremely rare. Most reported cases have been therapy-related. In this article, we report the clinical and immunophenotypic features of 5 cases of untreated CLL concurrent with or followed by the development of AML or MDS. All 5 patients were men, with ages ranging from 57 to 87 years (mean, 73.8 years). Four patients had AML and 1 patient had refractory anemia with ringed sideroblasts. In the 4 cases of AML and CLL, 2 distinct cell populations (i.e., myeloblasts and lymphocytes) were identified morphologically and/or immunophenotypically. Our findings support that this rare concurrence of AML or MDS and untreated CLL may represent 2 separate disease processes.