Hairy cell leukemia

Leukemic reticuloendotheliosis; HCL; Leukemia - hairy cell

Hairy cell leukemia (HCL) is an unusual cancer of the blood. It affects B cells, a type of white blood cell (lymphocyte).

Bone marrow aspiration

A small amount of bone marrow is removed during a bone marrow aspiration. The procedure is uncomfortable, but can be tolerated by both children and adults. The marrow can be studied to determine the cause of anemia, the presence of leukemia or other malignancy, or the presence of some storage diseases, in which abnormal metabolic products are stored in certain bone marrow cells.

Hairy cell leukemia - microscopic view

All the cells in this field are hairy cells. The cell membranes appear irregular and serrated. The cytoplasm stains light blue (black arrows). The nuclei tend to be irregular (red arrows).

Enlarged spleen

Because of its wide variety of functions, the spleen may be affected by many conditions involving the blood or lymph system, and by infection, malignancies, liver disease, and parasites.

Causes

Symptoms

Exams and Tests

Treatment

Outlook (Prognosis)

Possible Complications

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Prevention