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Large granular lymphocyte leukaemia study at the University Hospital of Donostia
  1. Alasne Uranga1,
  2. Carmen González1,
  3. J R Furundarena1,
  4. Naiara Robado2,
  5. Mercedes Rey3,
  6. Larraitz Aragon3,
  7. Iratxe Urreta4,
  8. Ane Aranbarri5,
  9. Maria Dolores De Juan3,
  10. Maria Araiz1
  1. 1 Hematología y Hemoterapia, Hospital Universitario Donostia, Donostia, Spain
  2. 2 Hematología y Hemoterapia, Hospital Zumarraga, Zumarraga, Spain
  3. 3 Inmunología, Hospital Universitario Donostia, Donostia, Spain
  4. 4 Epidemiología, Hospital Universitario Donostia, Donostia, Spain
  5. 5 Hematología y Hemoterapia, Hospital Galdakao-Usansolo, Galdacano, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Alasne Uranga, Hematology, Hospital Universitario de Donostia, San Sebastian 20014, Spain; alasneuranga{at}


Introduction Large granular lymphocyte (LGL) leukaemia is considered a mature T-cell or natural killer (NK) cell neoplasm, characterised by a clonal proliferation of LGL.

Aims To analyse the characteristics and to establish (if possible) the prognostic parameters of these patients diagnosed in a single centre: University Hospital of Donostia.

Methods We retrospectively studied data about 308 patients with LGL leukaemia diagnosed in our centre.

Results The frequency of T-LGL leukaemia and chronic lymphoproliferative disorder of NK cells was 89% and 6.8% respectively, and no aggressive NK-LGL leukaemia was seen in our population. The median age at diagnosis was 65.7 years and male-to-female ratio was 1.08. 59% of our patients were asymptomatic at the time of diagnosis. Most patients presented lymphocytosis and 63.6% more than 20% LGLs in the peripheral blood count, but it has to be taken into account that these results may be influenced by the selection bias of our study, as we recognised these patients as ‘alarms of the laboratory analysers’. Neutropenia was the most common cytopenia, and autoimmune disorders were described in 16.5% of the patients. Only 12 patients (3.9%) required treatment, a much lower percentage that the one reported in the literature, and this is consistent with the fact that patients were less symptomatic than in other series, as we expected. The 5-year and 15-year overall survival was 92% and 87%, respectively.

Conclusions Our patients may represent the even more benign end of the spectrum of clonal T LGL and NK proliferations.

  • haematologic diseases
  • lymphocytes
  • leukaemia
  • lymphoid tissue

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

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Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

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  • Handling editor Mary Frances McMullin.

  • Contributors AU, MA, CG and JRF designed the study. AU, NR and JRF prepared the manuscript. AU, CG, NR, MR, LA, MDDJ and AA contributed to data collection, and IU contributed to statistical analysis.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.