RESEARCH SUPPORT, N.I.H., EXTRAMURAL
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CD5-positive chronic B-cell lymphoproliferative disorders: diagnosis and prognosis of a heterogeneous disease entity.

BACKGROUND: The pathology and clinical course of patients with CD5+ chronic B-cell lymphoproliferative disorders, excluding those that present with typical chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL) or mantle cell lymphoma, (i.e. CD5+B-CLPD) are poorly defined.

METHODS: We studied patients with CD5+B-CLPD to (1) more completely define the clinical features and pathology of CD5+B-CLPD, (2) compare these features to patients presenting with typical CLL, and (3) test the hypothesis that a subset of patients with CD5+B-CLPD could have a unique B-cell malignancy.

RESULTS: We identified 229 patients with CD5+B-CLPD. A definitive pathological diagnosis was made in all 61 (27%) CD5+B-CLPD patients with nonbone marrow (BM) biopsy specimens considered adequate for a comprehensive pathological examination. The most common diagnosis among these 61 patients was CLL (44%) followed by the leukemic phase of marginal zone lymphoma (34%), lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma (11%), diffuse large B cell lymphoma (8%), and high-grade B cell lymphoma not otherwise specified (2%). In contrast, among 168 patients without a non-BM tissue biopsy specimen, a specific diagnosis could be made on review of all available data in only 24 (14%) with 144 (86%) remaining "unclassified."

CONCLUSIONS: In patients with CD5+B-CLPD, a definitive diagnosis can be made on an adequate non-BM tissue biopsy suggesting that this entity does not include a novel disease. We recommend that all patients with CD5+B-CLPD should have a non-BM tissue biopsy to make a definitive diagnosis prior to initiation of treatment.

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