223 cases with chronic lymphoid leukemia (CLL) were subjected to a prospective study on the presence of adeno- and splenomegaly at diagnosis and their subsequent variation. Subjects with no initial organ involvement were usually female (76%) and of old age (mean 69.2 years). Adenopathy or combined lymph node and spleen enlargement were inversely proportional to the mean age at diagnosis. Subsequent organ enlargement was noted in 11.7% of patients with no initial organomegaly, splenomegaly in 15% of patients with adenopathy only and adenopathy in 15% of patients with splenomegaly only. Except in the few cases with leukopenia, particularly high leukocyte levels were noted in patients with splenomegaly (with or without adenopathy). Anemia at diagnosis was not related to the degree of organ enlargement. It is suggested that qualitative and also quantitative differences in organomegaly in CLL merit further study to establish their underlying mechanisms. CLL must be seen as something more complex than the simple mechanical expression of progressive lymphocyte accumulation.

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