This slide compares a lymphoblast with an atypical lymphocyte seen in a case of infectious mononucleosis (IM). As a rule, clinically distinguishing these two diseases is not difficult, and the morphology of the abnormal lymphocytes is usually fairly characteristic; the atypical lymphocytes seen in IM (right) have abundant vacuolated cytoplasm with very basophilic regions wherever the cytoplasm abuts against erythrocytes. Rarely, distinguishing ALL from IM can be difficult, and determination of the heterophile antibody titer, which is elevated in most (but not all) cases of IM, may be useful.
Course Section: 07. Lymphocytic Leukemia: Acute and Chronic
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