What are the indications for treatment of hairy cell leukemia (HCL)?

Updated: Sep 16, 2018
  • Author: Emmanuel C Besa, MD; Chief Editor: Koyamangalath Krishnan, MD, FRCP, FACP  more...
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The standard criteria for initiating therapy for hairy cell leukemia nclude the following:

  • Symptoms or blood transfusion requirement

  • Significant anemia with hemoglobin of 8-10 g/dL or less

  • Thrombocytopenia with platelet counts of 50,000-100,000/mL or less

  • Neutropenia with an absolute neutrophil count (ANC) of 500-1000/mL or less (see the Absolute Neutrophil Count calculator)

Less common indications for therapy include the following:

  • Leukocytosis with a high proportion of hairy cells

  • Repeated life-threatening infections

  • Symptomatic splenomegaly

  • Bulky or painful lymphadenopathy

  • Vasculitis

  • Bony involvement

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