Chronic lymphocytic leukemia with central nervous system involvement: report of two cases with a comprehensive literature review

J Neurooncol. 2012 Jan;106(1):185-200. doi: 10.1007/s11060-011-0636-z. Epub 2011 Jul 17.


Central nervous system (CNS) involvement is a rare complication of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) with varied outcomes. We contribute two additional cases of CLL with CNS involvement. The clinical course and response to treatment are described. All 78 previously reported cases of CLL with CNS involvement are presented in this comprehensive review of the literature. CNS involvement of CLL is a rare complication that does not seem to correlate with any evident risk factors. Resolution of CNS symptoms can often be accomplished with intrathecal chemotherapy or irradiation. Early detection and treatment may result in better outcomes in this rare complication.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Gait Disorders, Neurologic / etiology
  • Humans
  • Hypesthesia / etiology
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / drug therapy
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / pathology*
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / radiotherapy
  • Leukemic Infiltration
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Middle Aged
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Biomarkers, Tumor