The cell volumes of mononuclear cells, T lymphocytes, B lymphocytes, and monocytes from the peripheral blood of 20 normal individuals were compared to neoplastic lymphoid cells from 14 patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), 20 individuals with acute lymphocytic leukaemia (ALL), and 18 cases of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). Normal T cells were obtained by rosetting mononuclear cells with sheep erythrocytes followed by centrifugation on a gradient composed of Ficoll and diatrizoate salts. Monocyte populations were prepared by adhering mononuclear cells to plastic dishes and B cells were obtained by the depletion of T lymphocytes and monocytes from a mononuclear cell population. Cell volumes were determined on a Coulter Counter Model H4 Channelyzer. In normals, the average mean cell volume (MCV) of T lymphocytes was smaller than B lymphocytes and the average MCV of B lymphocytes was smaller than the average MCV of monocytes (p less than 0.05). The average MCV of lymphocytes from patients with CLL was smaller than the average MCV of normal B cells (p less than 0.01). The average MCV of lymphoblasts from cases of ALL was larger than the average MCV of normal peripheral blood lymphocytes (p less than 0.01). In addition, the size of lymphoblasts showed great variation within and among cases of ALL. The MCV of lymphocytes from most cases of NHL was larger than the MCV of lymphocytes from reactive lymph nodes and from the peripheral blood of normal individuals. An association was observed between the MCV of neoplastic cells and the classification according to Rappaport. We believe that the measurement of lymphoid cell volumes may be helpful in the diagnosis and prognosis of patients with a variety of lymphoproliferative disorders.
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