Granulomatous infections complicating hairy cell leukemia

Lawrence Rice, Todd Shenkenberg, Edward C. Lynch, Thomas M. Wheeler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Of 14 patients with hairy cell leukemia (HCL), four developed opportunistic granulomatous infections: blastomycosis, coccidioidomycosis and two Mycobacterium kansasii. The former two pathogens have not been reported with HCL, while M. kansasii infections appear to be common. While most reviews stress susceptibility to pyogenic bacteria and the predisposing role of iatrogenic factors, three of our patients were infected prior to any therapy. Thus, disease-related factors predispose to these granulomatous infections. Granulocytopenia and monocytopenia were present; the latter was not often corrected by splenectomy. There was impaired granuloma formation, with all infectious lesions appearing histologically as focal microabscesses containing few macrophages. Awareness of the frequency of opportunistic intracellular infections with early consideration of invasive diagnostic procedures to establish specific etiologic diagnosis may greatly prolong survival for many HCL patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1924-1928
Number of pages5
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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