In a series of fourteen patients with adult T-cell lymphoma-leukaemia (ATLL) in Brazil the main features were lymphadenopathy, hepatosplenomegaly, hypercalcaemia, and high leucocyte counts, with abnormal lymphoid cells which had irregular nuclei. The series included the youngest patient with ATLL so far (18 months). Analysis with monoclonal antibodies showed a mature T-cell phenotype (CD4+, CD8-). Antibodies to HTLV-I and/or integration of HTLV-I proviral DNA were found in eleven patients. In the other three HTLV-I DNA could not be demonstrated even by means of the polymerase chain reaction; they therefore had HTLV-I-negative ATLL. This report of ATLL in Brazil corroborates serological reports that HTLV-I may be endemic in some parts of that country. Follow-up studies are required to identify precisely the main route of transmission of HTLV-I in South America and the risk factors for the development of ATLL in carriers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas