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Am J Clin Pathol. 1997 Feb;107(2):168-76.

T-cell blast crisis in chronic myelogenous leukemia. Immunophenotypic and molecular biologic findings.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


T-cell blast crisis in chronic myelogenous leukemia is rare. We examined three patients (ages 35 to 72 years) in whom T-cell blast crisis developed 11 to 36 months (mean, 25 months) after diagnosis of chronic myelogenous leukemia and who died 4 to 12 months (mean, 7 months) thereafter. Two patients had diffuse lymphadenopathy, and the third had marked lymphocytosis (white blood cell count 217,000/microL, with 90% circulating blasts). In all three patients, neoplastic cells had the appearance of lymphoblasts and were immunoreactive for T-cell markers by immunohistochemical or flow cytometric analysis or both. Molecular diagnostic studies revealed the presence of a bcr-abl oncogene rearrangement in all three cases, but none exhibited a clonal T-cell receptor delta, beta, or gamma chain gene rearrangement. One case exhibited deletion of the J delta 1 region of both delta chain genes. The significance of these findings is discussed, and they are compared with those of other reported cases of T-cell blast crisis in chronic myelogenous leukemia.

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