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Diagnosing Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia


Staging and some laboratory parameters provide a certain amount of prognostic information, but are not a suitable basis for estimating the prognosis at the time of diagnosis.  

Prognostic Factors

Parameter Median survival (years)

Infiltration of bone marrow:

diffuse  3-5
sporadic  10


< 50 x 109/l  6
> 50 x 109/l  3-4

Doubling time:

> 12 months  10
< 12 months  5

Prolymphocytes in blood:

< 5 % prolymphocytes  6
> 5 % prolymphocytes  3-4

In the last 10 years, the knowledge of the biology of disease has increased significantly, and with the help of this knowledge, the conditions are much better for communicating the patient's prognosis at the time of diagnosis.  

Patients who do not need treatment are routinely checked (frequency is adapted individually).

At follow-up visits, anamnesis is emphasized and the clinical examination should focus on lymphoid organs, and laboratory parameters such as hemoglobulin, leukocytes with differential count, and thrombocytes.

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