This slide illustrates the peripheral blood from a patient with leukemia reticuloendotheliosis (hairy cell leukemia). At times these cells may be confused with those seen in some cases of CLL. The most distinguishing characteristic of the "hairy cell" is the hair-like cytoplasmic projections. The nuclear chromatin pattern may be confused with that either of a monocyte or a lymphocyte. Bone marrow aspiration occasionally is unsuccessful in these cases, but a biopsy can yield a typical picture of cells with widely separated nuclei. Staining these cells with acid phosphatase (with and without tartrate inhibition) may aid the diagnosis.
Course Section: 07. Lymphocytic Leukemia: Acute and Chronic
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