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Leukemia. 2013 Jan;27(1):136-41. doi: 10.1038/leu.2012.187. Epub 2012 Jul 11.

Infectious complications among individuals with clinical monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis (MBL): a cohort study of newly diagnosed cases compared to controls.

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Department of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55902, USA.


Although the risk of progression from monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis (MBL) to chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) has been well characterized, it is unknown whether other common complications associated with CLL, such as increased risk of infection, occurs in individuals with MBL. We used the Mayo CLL database to identify cohorts of individuals with newly diagnosed MBL (n=154) or newly diagnosed CLL (n=174) who resided within 50 miles of Mayo Clinic. A cohort of 689 adult patients seen for a general medical examination who resided within 50 miles of Mayo clinic and who enrolled in a case-control study of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) was used as a comparison cohort. Hospitalization with infection was more common among individuals with MBL (25/154; 16.2%), and CLL (32/174; 18.4%) than controls (18/689; 2.6%). On pooled multivariable Cox proportional hazards analysis of all 1017 patients (controls, MBL and CLL), male sex (hazards ratio (HR)=2.3; P=0.002), major co-morbid health problems (HR=1.7, P=0.04), the presence of CLL (HR=3.2, P<0.001), treatment for progressive CLL (HR=2.4, P=0.001) and the presence of MBL (HR=3.0, P=0.001) were independently associated with risk of hospitalization for infection. These results suggest the risk of serious infection in clinical MBL is substantially greater than the risk of progression requiring treatment.

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