Aggressive Natural Killer Cell Leukemia: A Case Report and Literature Update

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Ecirli S., Kutlu O., ANDIÇ N., Ugurluoglu C., Sakin A., Basturk A.

ISTANBUL MEDICAL JOURNAL, vol.16, no.3, pp.130-132, 2015 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.5152/imj.2015.09327
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.130-132
  • Eskisehir Osmangazi University Affiliated: Yes


Aggressive natural killer cell leukemia (ANKL) is an extremely rare type of leukemia characterized by clonal NK cell infiltration of peripheral blood and the bone marrow, cytopenias, and hepato/splenomegaly. ANKL is an aggressive subtype of a large granular lymphocytic (LGL) leukemia. Peripheral blood smear shows LGL cells containing characteristic azurophilic granules in a light pale basophilic cytoplasm and immature nuclei. Immunological studies determine CD3-/CD16+/CD56+ and cytoplasmic CD3+. Tumor cells may have EBV positive. Chemotherapy resistance is caused by a multi-drug resistance gene (MDR); thus, patients die within 2 months after diagnosis. Here, we report a rare case of a patient diagnosed with ANKL.