Unclassifiable Isolated Monoclonal Lymphocytosis: Comprehensive Description of a Retrospective Cohort

Cancers (Basel). 2019 Oct 4;11(10):1495. doi: 10.3390/cancers11101495.


According to the World Health Organization (WHO) classification, the nosology of B-cell neoplasms integrates clinical, morphological, phenotypic, and genetic data. In this retrospective analysis, we identified 18 patients with isolated neoplastic lymphocytosis that could not be accurately classified within the WHO classification. Most of them were asymptomatic at the time of diagnosis and the evolution was relatively indolent, as only five patients required treatment after a median follow-up of 48 months. The neoplastic B-cells expressed CD5 in most cases, but the Royal Marsden Hospital score was strictly below 3. Trisomy 12 was the most frequent cytogenetic abnormality. High-throughput sequencing highlighted mutations found in both chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and marginal zone lymphoma (MZL). Similarly, the immunoglobulin heavy chain variable region repertoire was distinct from those reported in CLL or MZL. However, as treatment choice is dependent on the correct classification of the lymphoproliferative disorder, a histological diagnosis should be performed in case patients need to be treated.

Keywords: B-cell neoplasms; WHO classification; chronic lymphocytic leukemia; lymphocytosis; marginal zone lymphoma.