Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia with upper airway obstruction.

Research paper by M G MG Dean, I I Cunningham, L P LP Dao, I I Cole, P P Mulligan S

Indexed on: 01 Feb '96Published on: 01 Feb '96Published in: Leukemia & lymphoma


We report a case of B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia in a 58 year old female in whom the clinical course was dominated by upper airway obstruction due to massive enlargement of the palatine and later the lingual tonsils. The peripheral blood morphology and immunophenotype were typical of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia with expression of CDl9+, CD20+, CD5+, CD23+ and HLA-DR+ together with weak, surface immunoglobulin with monoclonal lambda light chain. Therapy included surgical removal of the palatine tonsils and later chemotherapy, both of which provided temporary relief of obstruction before recurrence of obstruction at the site of the lingual tonsils. Lasting relief from mass effect and obstruction only occurred following localised radiotherapy to Waldeyer's ring.