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May 12, 1978

Leukemic Cell Fragments Mimicking Platelets

Author Affiliations

Cabrini Health Care Center New York

JAMA. 1978;239(19):1959-1960. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280460027010

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To the Editor.—  Recently Armitage et al reported a case of acute leukemia with circulating leukemic cell fragments that artifactually elevated the platelet count (239:433-434, 1978). We would like to report a similar case.

Report of a Case.—  A 54-year-old man was hospitalized with a history of severe pain of the right thigh for two weeks. On admission he was found to have an enlarged liver and a gigantic spleen filling the entire left side of the abdomen. The initial WBC count was 100,400/cu mm with 78% blast cells. A smear of bone marrow showed hypercellularity mainly consisting of blast cells. A bone scan and roentgenologic study of the right femur were consistent with leukemic infiltration. The patient was treated with oral prednisone and intravenous vincristine weekly. In one month the pain of the right thigh subsided, and the WBC count returned to normal with a normal differential count. The