This slide contrasts the abnormal lymphocytes in the peripheral blood of a case of CLL (right) with an atypical lymphocyte in IM. This distinction can be fairly difficult to make on the basis of cytologic findings alone. Other information may be helpful in deciding whether such cells should be called "abnormal" or "atypical" lymphocytes. For instance, in IM the white blood cell count is usually not as elevated as in CLL, and the lymphocyte cytological findings are usually more variable than in CLL. Patients with IM generally are children or young adults. The heterophile antibody test often is positive in IM and negative in CLL.
Course Section: 07. Lymphocytic Leukemia: Acute and Chronic
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