HARVEY M. GOLOMB, M.D.; DANIEL CATOVSKY, M.D.; DAVID W. GOLDE, M.D.
Hairy cell leukemia, although rare, has become a well-described clinicopathologic entity since its identification in 1958 (1). Patients with the disease have circulating leukemic cells with prominent cytoplasmic projections. These cells are tartrate-resistant acid-phosphatase-positive in cytochemical tests. These cytochemical features, combined with a characteristic pattern of bone marrow involvement, are diagnostic for hairy cell leukemia (2, 3). Clinically, most patients have splenomegaly without adenopathy. Usually, a pancytopenia is present, but 10% to 20% of patients have an elevated leukocyte count, most of these leukocytes being hairy cells (4, 5).
Splenectomy has been recommended as the initial treatment when therapy is
GOLOMB HM, CATOVSKY D, GOLDE DW. Hairy Cell Leukemia: A Five-Year Update on Seventy-One Patients. Ann Intern Med. ;99:485–486. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-99-4-485
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1983;99(4):485-486.
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