Infectious lymphadenitis in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma: A rare, but important, complication

Deborah A. Bowen, Kari G. Rabe, Susan M. Schwager, Susan L. Slager, Timothy G. Call, David S. Viswanatha, Clive S. Zent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

The differential diagnosis of rapidly progressive or symptomatic lymphadenopathy in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL) includes infectious lymphadenitis. We studied 286 (9%) of 3040 patients with CLL seen between 2003 and 2012 at Mayo Clinic Rochester who had 356 diagnostic lymph node biopsies to evaluate rapidly progressive or symptomatic lymphadenopathy. Most (85.4%) biopsies showed progressive CLL, 8.9% a second lymphoid malignancy, 3.9% infectious lymphadenitis, 1.1% reactive adenitis and 0.6% non-hematological malignancies. Of the 12 patients (14 biopsies) with infectious lymphadenitis, five patients had never been treated for their CLL, and seven had a specific microbiological diagnosis (herpes simplex n = 3, Cryptococcus neoformans n = 1, Mycobacterium n = 1, coagulase negative Staphylococcus n = 2). We conclude that infectious lymphadenitis is a rare complication of CLL with clinical characteristics similar to progressive CLL and transformation to a more aggressive lymphoma. Early recognition and antimicrobial therapy treatment of infectious lymphadenitis can be highly effective in these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-314
Number of pages4
JournalLeukemia and Lymphoma
Volume56
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

Keywords

  • CLL
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • Cryptococcus
  • Herpes simplex
  • Infection
  • Lymphadenitis
  • Lymphadenopathy
  • Mycobacterium avium
  • Small lymphocytic lymphoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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