Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) is also known as chronic lymphatic leukaemia, chronic lymphogenous leukaemia and chronic lymphoid leukaemia. It is the most common type of leukaemias and usually occurs above the age of 60 years. Its incidence is twofold higher in men as compared to women. Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia is a clonal malignancy of the B-lymphocytes, in which a large number of white blood cells are produced in the bone marrow, lymph system and the haematopoietic system. There is an accumulation of mature long-lived small lymphocytes, which are immuno-incompetent. Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia usually runs an indolent course, but occasionally, the disease progresses rapidly. The common symptoms of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia include fatigue, vague aches, anaemia, fever, loss of appetite, loss of weight and night sweats. There may be cervical, axillary and inguinal lymphadenopathy. Lymphocytic infiltration in the liver and the spleen may lead to hepatomegaly and splenomegaly. Recurrent infections are a common feature due to immunosuppression.
Staging of the chronic lymphocytic leukaemia is done as follows:
Procedures used in diagnosis & evaluation of the chronic lymphocytic leukaemia include blood tests and bone marrow biopsy.
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