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Clinical manifestations, pathologic features, and diagnosis of precursor B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma

Arnold S Freedman, MD
Jon C Aster, MD
Section Editor
Andrew Lister, MD, FRCP, FRCPath, FRCR
Deputy Editor
Alan G Rosmarin, MD


In the World Health Organization classification system for hematologic malignancies, the lymphoblastic neoplasms, which may present as leukemia and/or lymphoma, are divided into two general categories based upon lineage (see "Classification of the hematopoietic neoplasms") [1,2]:

Precursor B cell lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma, also called precursor B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (precursor B cell ALL)

Precursor T cell lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma (precursor T-LBL), also called precursor T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (precursor T cell ALL)

This is largely done because the prognosis and treatment differ between neoplasms of B and T cell lineage. These can be further divided into either lymphoblastic lymphoma or lymphoblastic leukemia:

Clinically, a case is defined as lymphoma (LBL) if there is a mass lesion in the mediastinum or elsewhere and <25 percent blasts in the bone marrow.

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Jul 19, 2017.
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