Which CBC count findings are characteristic of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)?

Updated: Feb 25, 2021
  • Author: Sanjay Vinjamaram, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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In the early stage of disease, patients with NHL may have blood counts within the reference range. As the disease progresses, a CBC count with differential and platelet count in patients with NHL may show the following:

  • Anemia secondary to bone marrow infiltration, autoimmune hemolysis (particularly associated with small lymphocytic lymphoma [SLL]/chronic lymphocytic leukemia [CLL]), bleeding, anemia of chronic disease

  • Thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, or pancytopenia secondary to bone marrow infiltration or autoimmune cytopenias

  • Lymphocytosis with circulating malignant cells (common in patients with low-grade lymphomas)

  • Thrombocytosis (paraneoplastic syndrome associated with lymphomas or reactive secondary to blood loss)

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