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Revista médica de Chile

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CABRERA C, M Elena et al. Adult T cell leukemia lymphoma in Chile. : A clinico pathological and molecular study of 26 patients. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 1999, vol.127, n.8, pp.935-944. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: Adult T cell leukemia lymphoma is a lymphoproliferative syndrome etiologically associated to human T cell lymphotropic virus type I. Aim: To describe the clinical and laboratory features of 26 Caucasian Chilean patients, with HTLV-I positive adult T-cell leukemia lymphoma (ATLL). Material and methods: Diagnostic criteria included clinical features, cell morphology, immunophenotype, HTLV-I serology and/or DNA analysis by Southern blot or PCR. Results: According to the clinical presentation, 12 cases had the acute ATLL form, 6 had a lymphoma, 4 the chronic form and 4 had smoldering ATLL. The median presentation age was 50 years, younger than the Japanese patients, but significantly older than patients from other South American countries (eg Brasil, Jamaica, Colombia). The main clinical features: lymphadenopathy, skin lesions and hepatosplenomegaly, were similar in frequency to those of patients from other countries, except for the high incidence of associated neurological disease. Tropical Spastic Paraparesis (TSP) in our series of ATLL, was seen in one third of the patients (8/26). A T-cell immunophenotype was shown in all 26 cases and HTLV-I serology was positive in 25/26 patients. Molecular analysis on the seronegative patient showed clonal integration of proviral HTLV-I DNA into the lymphocytes DNA, and thus he may have been a poor responder to the retroviral infection. Proviral DNA integration was also demonstrated in 15/16 patients being clonal in 10, polyclonal in 3 (all smoldering cases) and oligoclonal in one. Conclusions: ATLL in Chile has similar clinical and laboratory features than the disease in other parts of the world, except for a younger age than Japanese patients but older than those from other Latin American countries and a high incidence of patients with associated TSP. Detailed morphological and immunophenotypic analysis of the abnormal circulating lymphocytes, together with the documentation of HTLV-I by serology and/or DNA analysis are key tests for the identification of this disease.

Keywords : Human T-cell Leukemia Lymphoma; HTLV-I antibodies; Immunophenotype.

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