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Adult T‐cell leukaemia/lymphoma (ATLL)

Adult T‐cell leukaemia/lymphoma (ATLL) is a mature T‐cell neoplasm of post‐thymic lymphocytes aetiologically linked to the human T‐cell lymphotropic virus, HTLV‐I and  found in the blood (leukemia), lymph nodes (lymphoma), skin, or multiple areas of the body.. The cytological picture is pleomorphic, with the predominant cell being a medium size lymphocyte with condensed chromatin and a convoluted or polylobated nucleus, designated a “flower cell”,nucleoli are not visible, and when identified are often small.


The immunophenotype of the ATLL cell is that of an activated mature T‐lymphocyte.

positive for CD2, CD5, CD4, CD3, CD25(identifies alpha chain of the interleukin‐2  orIL‐2) ,T‐cell receptor (TCR)‐β (weak expression or even negative in the cell membrane)(few cases of CD4+CD8+ and CD4-CD8+ cases also seen with  worse clinical course), variable expression of HLA-DR, CD38 and CD56  and Negative for CD7, CD7, CD8, ALK, cytotoxic molecules, CD10, CXCL13, TCL1, NK cells, CD15, epithelial membrane antigen (EMA) and the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK1)


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