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Medical Dictionary

adult T–cell leukemia


Medical Definition of adult T–cell leukemia

  1. :  a lymphoproliferative disease that is characterized by high counts of malignant T cells, skin lesions, hypercalcemia, and enlargement of the liver, spleen, and lymph nodes and that is associated with the retrovirus HTLV-I <Only about 3 percent of HTLV-1 carriers will go on to develop adult T-cell leukemia, which has no effective treatment or cure.—The Connecticut Post, 2 Apr. 2004> Adult T-cell leukemia has four subtypes: an acute subtype in which symptoms develop rapidly; a chronic subtype with a slower-developing, prolonged clinical course; a lymphomatous subtype in which malignancy is found only in the lymph nodes; and a smouldering subtype which develops slowly and has mild symptoms but may transform into a rapidly progressing disease. —abbreviation ATL

Variants of adult t–cell leukemia


adult T–cell leukemia/lymphoma

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having a blissful appearance

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