The Clinical Presentation of CLL

  • Daniel CatovskyEmail author
  • Monica Else
  • David Oscier
Part of the Hematologic Malignancies book series (HEMATOLOGIC)


This chapter deals with the basic demographics and the presenting features of CLL and how to assess patients once a diagnosis has been made. CLL is predominantly a disease of the elderly with a preponderance of male patients. New evidence suggests that there are variations in gender incidence according to the clinical status of patients, with a higher male:female ratio in the groups with worse prognosis.

Full blood counts and a physical examination are the basis of the existing staging systems of Rai and Binet. Establishing the patient’s clinical stage sets the scene for the frequency of follow-up, the possible need for therapy and the need for cytogenetic and molecular investigations. Examination of blood films is still important, to identify the presence of prolymphocytes and to consider alternative diagnostic possibilities. In addition, biochemical tests such as beta-2 microglobulin and lactate dehydrogenase are a valuable part of the prognostic evaluation.

Patients may need support to deal with the psychological and quality of life issues arising from their disease.


CLL Incidence Clinical presentation Second malignancies Age at diagnosis Gender Rai stage Binet stage 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Molecular PathologyThe Institute of Cancer ResearchLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of Molecular PathologyRoyal Bournemouth HospitalBournemouthUK

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