Last updated:09-05-2008
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Definition and causes

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is a serious disease, which belongs to a group of blodkræftsygdomme (leukæmier). The disease affects almost exclusively the elderly and is due to an error occurred in blood formation in which the defective white blood cells divide unchecked. This provides a range of symptoms and complications.

All blood cells develop from stamcellen in the bone marrow. Stamcellen divides into 2 lines, respectivelymyeloidandlymphoidstem cell. The myeloid stem cell develops again in 3 different lines, resulting in the formation of red blood cells, some of the white blood cells and platelets (see the blood in general ). The lymphoid stem cell is responsible for the development of lymphocytes, which is also a type of white blood cells and thus an important part of the immune system. During this review the cells of different precursors, where there may be errors.

In chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), there was an error in the aging of lymfocytten, but it is relatively close to looking like a normal lymphocyte. However, it does not have the characteristics to be used in the fight against infection. It is characteristic of CLL that there is only one particular type ufunktionelle lymphocytes, and that this cell type found in both bone marrow and blood.

This malignant (malignant) cells possess some properties, which means that it has longer life and less tendency to go for reasons other than normal cell types.
There is an accumulation of the ufunktionelle lymphocyte in the bone marrow, blood and at the advanced stages also in lymph nodes, spleen and liver. This accumulation in the bone marrow suppresses the development of other important cells, such as red cells (the red blodlegmer) and platelets (platelet), which causes anaemia , Bleeding (see thrombocytopenia and increased risk of infections).

CLL is the most common form of leukemia and some. 300 new cases per year in Denmark. It affects more men than women and typically older so that around. 2 / 3 are over 60 years.

Symptoms of CLL

You can go long with the disease before it shows symptoms:

  • Typical is the first sign of CLLenlarged lymph nodesfor example. under his arm, neck or in lysken.

  • Signs of anaemia (anaemia), such as fatigue, pallor, dizziness and headache.

  • Due. the accumulated number of ufunktionelle lymphocytes seen set up power in the immune system, which manifests itself as frequent infections with fever and malaise.

  • In severe cases there may feel a bump respectively. left or right side of the abdomen just below the ribs, as a sign of aenlarged spleenorlive.

Precautions and diagnosis

Seeing Monday signs of the above symptoms over time, one should seek out a doctor. The diagnosis can be made by taking a normal blood test, including by see an increased number of white blood cells. It may also be complemented with a knoglemarvsundersøgelse , Which makes the diagnosis by looking a certain number and a distinctive form of the white blood cells in bone marrow.

An X-ray of the chest can show whether there are enlarged lymph nodes in the lungs. There are testing for enlarged lymph nodes in the abdomen using ultrasound, CT or MRI scan (see billedundersøgelser ).

Treatment of CLL

CLL is not curable, and we can only provide treatment to help the symptoms. It deals with the typical long cellegifte (chemotherapy) at prilled, which hits quickly delende cells with the greatest impact. Also used prednisolone (binyrebarkhormon). These substances can in most cases taken for long periods without the discomfort to the patient. The treatment has a soothing effect, and symptoms such as swollen lymph nodes and spleen customer.

In severe cases, the treatment may be short-intensified with cellegift sprayed directly in blodårerne. Local radiation can also be used by large swollen lymph nodes.

Blodmanglen and bleeding treated with blood and infections treated with antibiotics.

Select and complications

You can have CLL for a long time before symptoms present themselves. In some instances long-term cellegifte and binyrebarkhormon, with varying impact. The forecast depends strongly on the severity of the disease, but it is rarely good. Since CLL affects older people, it is typically other common age-related diseases, which will affect the life span.




Related articles:

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML)
Leukaemia (Cancer of the blood)



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