Prospective evaluation of internal adenopathy in a cohort of 43 patients with hairy cell leukemia

David Hakimian, Martin S. Tallman*, Denise K. Hogan, Alfred W. Rademaker, Esther Rose, Albert A. Nemcek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine the role of computed tomography (CT) in patients with hairy cell leukemia (HCL), we report a series of 43 patients prospectively evaluated for internal adenopathy by CT before and after treatment with 2-chlorodeoxyadenosine (2-CdA). Patients and Methods: CT was performed on 43 consecutive patients with HCL before and 3 months after a single cycle of 2-CdA. Twenty-four patients were previously diagnosed and 19 were newly diagnosed. Adenopathy was considered bulky if the greatest dimension of any confluent mass was between 5 and 10 cm and massive if greater than 10 cm. Results: Internal adenopathy was present in six of 43 patients (14%). Three of the six patients had massive abdominal adenopathy and one had bulky abdominal adenopathy. All six patients with adenopathy were previously diagnosed, while none of the 19 newly diagnosed patients had internal adenopathy. In those patients previously diagnosed, the six with adenopathy had a median disease duration of 68 months, while the 18 patients without adenopathy had a median disease duration of 24 months (P = .01). Adenopathy was more common in splenectomized patients. In previously diagnosed patients, adenopathy occurred in five of 10 (50%) splenectomized patients and one of 14 (7%) nonsplenectomized patients (P = .05). However, the 10 splenectomized patients had a median disease duration of 56 months, while the 14 nonsplenectomized patients had a median disease duration of 16 months (P = .004). All six patients had significant reduction in adenopathy 3 months after 2-CdA and were without residual HCL in the bone marrow. Conclusion: Significant internal adenopathy in patients with HCL is more frequent than previously recognized. Adenopathy is rare at diagnosis and appears to be related to disease duration. As patients treated with 2-CdA have long disease-free survival durations, detection of significant adenopathy by CT scan may be important; however, routine CT scans are not recommended at the time of diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)268-272
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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