Conjunctival involvement with T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia: Report of a case and review of the literature

Susan S. Lee, Michael R. Robinson, John C. Morris, Barry C. Mirtsching, DeFen Shen, Chi Chao Chan

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20 Scopus citations


T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia is a rare and highly aggressive hematological neoplasm. A patient with T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia presented with bilateral perilimbal conjunctival infiltrates. Conjunctival biopsy showed aggregates of large atypical lymphocytes in the substantia propria with a concentration of atypical cells in the perivascular areas. Immunophenotyping of the malignant cells identified an abnormal clonal T-cell population consistent with T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia. A literature review of all reports of conjunctival involvement with leukemia was performed. The three cases of ocular prolymphocytic leukemia, including the one case of ocular T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia, are discussed in detail as well as 14 reported clinical cases of biopsy-proven conjunctival leukemia. The majority of cases occurred in the setting of acute leukemia, and conjunctival involvement was frequently a presenting sign of the disease or signified disease relapse. Conjunctival involvement with leukemia was consistent with good visual acuity; however, it portended a poor prognosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-536
Number of pages12
JournalSurvey of Ophthalmology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2004


  • T cell
  • conjunctiva
  • immunohistochemistry
  • prolymphocytic leukemia
  • therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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