A multiparameter analysis, which included the evaluation of clinical features, cell morphology, karyotype, phenotypic and functional immunologic findings, and T-cell receptor beta-chain configuration was performed on 34 patients with lymphoproliferative disease of granular lymphocytes (LDGL). The two-fold aim of the study was to identify the most useful tools that would more accurately characterize these patients and to deal with the problem of classifying these lymphoproliferative disorders. The data presented in this article suggest that a single parameter may not be sufficient to define the nature of the proliferating cells or to predict the clinical course of the disease and prognosis for the patient. The use of a multiparameter approach, however, may reach this goal, thus providing important prognostic and therapeutic information. Our study supports the concept that lymphoproliferative disease of granular lymphocytes is a heterogeneous disorder that ranges from indolent and possibly reactive conditions to the manifestation of aggressive malignancies.
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