November 1965

Chronic Granulocytic Leukemia in the Aged

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Hematology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (Major Conrad and Colonel Crosby), and the Department of Pathology, University of Chicago Medical School (Dr. Rappaport). Dr. Crosby is presently Chief, Department of Hematology, Pratt Clinic, New England Medical Center Hospitals, 171 Harrison Ave, Boston, Mass 02111.

Arch Intern Med. 1965;116(5):765-775. doi:10.1001/archinte.1965.03870050119018

GHleukemia occurs at all ages ALTHOUGH leukemia occurs at all ages of life, chronic granulocytic leukemia (CGL) is predominantly a disease of young adult life and early middle age1-3 (Fig 1). The usual case of CGL is that of a 20- to 50-year-old patient who complains of fatigue, a mass in the left subcostal region, or a sensation of fullness after eating. The spleen and liver are large and may half-fill the abdominal cavity. Laboratory studies usually reveal a leukocyte count that is greater than 100,000 cells/cu mm, with a predominance of granulocytes, including immature forms, and increased numbers of basophils. The cytoplasm of mature granulocytes contains a low concentration of alkaline phosphatase.4,5 Serum vitamin B12 levels are increased,6 and recently a chromosomal abnormality was described which may precede the clinical onset of leukemia.7-9 Treatment with radiation or chemotherapy usually produces improvement which lasts for months or years.10 Then the

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