Hairy cell leukemia


Hairy cell leukaemia. Artwork of cancerous leucocytes (white blood cells) in the blood of a person with hairy cell leukaemia (HCL). The leucocytes each have a large nucleus (magenta), pale cytoplasm and rough 'hairy' edges. Red blood cells are also visible. Leukaemia occurs when the blood- forming organs overproduce certain types of white blood cells. These abnormal cells suppress normal blood cell production, increasing susceptibility to infection. Hairy cell leucocytes are especially evident in the spleen, and removal of this organ may produce a long-term remission. Hairy cell leukaemia is a rare form of chronic leukaemia, and about 80% of cases are in men.

Credit: Jim Dowdalls / Science Source

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