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 RESEARCH ARTICLE
CytoJournal 2010,  7:20

The spectrum of coincident entities with small lymphocytic lymphoma/chronic lymphocytic leukemia (SLL/CLL) diagnosed by cytology


1 Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
2 Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Correspondence Address:
Sara E Monaco
Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1742-6413.70968

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Background: The cytologic diagnosis of Small lymphocytic lymphoma/chronic lymphocytic leukemia (SLL/CLL) often relies on finding a small lymphoid population with the characteristic immunoprofile by ancillary testing. There are only a few reports of other processes identified with SLL/CLL. The aim of this study was to review the fine needle aspiration (FNA) and touch prep (TP) diagnoses of SLL/CLL in order to identify any coincident entities. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all FNA and TP cytology cases between January 2005 and May 2009 with a diagnosis of SLL/CLL to determine the presence of any coincident process. Results: We identified 29 cases, including 23 FNAs and six TPs, from 23 patients. Ancillary studies were utilized in 97% of the cases, including flow cytometry (FC, 79%), immunohistochemistry (IHC, 55%), fluorescent in situ hybridization studies (24%) and special stains (7%). Coincident entities were identified in nine cases (31%) and included seven (28%) neoplastic entities (Hodgkin lymphoma [HL], adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, seminoma) and two (7%) non-neoplastic entities (infection and immunoglobulin containing cells). Six cases (21%) suspicious for large cell transformation were also identified. Conclusion: In our review of SLL/CLL, coincident entities were present in 31% of the cases and included a spectrum of non-neoplastic and neoplastic processes. FC was the most frequently utilized ancillary test, but IHC provided important information by excluding a mantle cell lymphoma or confirming a coincident process. Thus, cytomorphologic evaluation in these patients is important due to the high risk of a coincident process that may not be apparent by FC alone and may require clinical management.






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