A long-term study of patients with chronic natural killer cell lymphocytosis

Gita R. Rabbani, Robert L. Phyliky, Ayalew Tefferi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations

Abstract

Chronic natural killer cell lymphocytosis is a persistent state of natural killer (NK) cell (CD3-CD16/CD56+) excess in the peripheral blood that is not associated with clinical lymphoma. In 16 consecutive patients (median age 60.5 years, range 7-77), males were overrepresented (M:F 7:1) and the median absolute NK cell count was 4.09 x 109/l (range 1.2-16.6). Bone marrow examination was performed in 14 patients and showed atypical granulomata in two; chromosome studies in seven patients were normal. Clonal T-cell receptor gene rearrangement was not found in any of 12 patients evaluated. At presentation, seven patients (44%) had no clinical symptoms or signs and the others had vasculitic skin lesions (three patients), nonneutropenic fever (three patients), recurrent neutropenic infection (two patients), musculoskeletal symptoms (two patients), peripheral neuropathy (two patients), aphthous ulcers (one patient), and splenomegaly (one patient). Five patients had anaemia, five had neutropenia, and two had thrombocytopenia. After a median follow-up of 5.1 years (range 0-10.2) from immunophenotypic diagnosis or 5.7 years (range 0.1-14.1) from documentation of absolute lymphocytosis, vasculitic glomerulonephritis developed in one patient, accelerated splenomegaly developed in a patient receiving myeloid growth factor treatment, and severe aplastic anaemia developed in one patient. Treatment with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or immunosuppressive agents was variably successful.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)960-966
Number of pages7
JournalBritish journal of haematology
Volume106
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999

Keywords

  • Large granular lymphocytes
  • Natural history
  • Natural killer cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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