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CD3+ CD8+ T cell lymphocytosis masking B cell leukaemia.
  1. J L Smith,
  2. D G Oscier,
  3. D G Haegert,
  4. D B Jones,
  5. M Howell,
  6. E Hodges,
  7. F K Stevenson,
  8. T J Hamblin
  1. Regional Immunology Service, Tenovus Research Laboratory, Southampton.


    A patient with CD3, CD8 positive lymphocytosis presented with features consistent with T cell chronic lymphocytic leukaemia/proliferations of large granular lymphocytes. The marrow and blood lymphoid populations (19.4 x 10(9)/l) contained more than 80% CD3 and CD8 positive cells with no evidence of a monotypic B cell population. A biopsy specimen of a vasculitic rash showed a diffuse infiltrate of CD3, CD8 positive cells into the upper dermis, consistent with T cell lymphocytic disease. After follow up for two years without treatment the blood lymphocyte count was 53 x 10(9)/l and was composed of cytologically small lymphocytes. A monoclonal SIg M D k lymphoid population (more than 90%) was demonstrable in sample blood and marrow aspirate. Gene rearrangement studies carried out on DNA extracted from peripheral blood lymphocytes at presentation and at two year follow up exhibited JH and Ck immunoglobulin gene rearrangement but no rearrangement of T cell receptor TcR gamma and beta genes. It is thought that this is the first well documented case of an aggressive CD8 positive lymphocytosis preceding, or in response to, an underlying B cell neoplasm.

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