Chronic lymphocytic leukemia with TP53 gene alterations: a detailed clinicopathologic analysis Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Primary Myelofibrosis
  • Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic
  • Receptors, Thrombopoietin


  • TP53 alteration in chronic lymphocytic leukemia indicates a high-risk disease that is usually refractory to chemotherapy. It may be caused by deletion of 17p involving the loss of TP53 gene, which occurs in low percentage of patients at diagnosis but can be acquired as the disease progresses. Since patients may harbor TP53 mutation without chromosome 17p deletion, consensus recommendations call for both cytogenetic and PCR mutation analysis of TP53 in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. We conducted a single-institution retrospective study to investigate the clinicopathologic features of chronic lymphocytic leukemia with TP53 alterations as well as the utility of different diagnostic modalities to identify p53 alterations. Forty percent of chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients with TP53 alterations demonstrated atypical lymphocytes with cleaved/irregularly shaped nuclei and/or large atypical lymphoid cells with abundant cytoplasm in the peripheral blood. Progression was also observed in lymph node and bone marrow samples (21% with Richter transformation; 33% with findings suggestive of "accelerated phase" of chronic lymphocytic leukemia including prominent proliferation centers and/or increased numbers of prolymphocytes). However, the presence of the morphologic features suggestive of "accelerated phase" had no effect on overall survival within the chronic lymphocytic leukemia group with TP53 abnormalities (pā€‰>ā€‰0.05). As previously reported by others, a subset of patients with TP53 alterations were only identified by either PCR mutation analysis (12%) or cytogenetic studies (14%). p53 immunostain positivity was only identified in approximately half of the patients with TP53 alterations identified by either method, and it failed to identify any additional patients with p53 abnormalities. In summary, chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients with TP53 alterations frequently show atypical morphologic features. Use of multiple modalities to identify p53 abnormalities is recommended to ensure optimal sensitivity and specificity.

publication date

  • January 2019



  • Academic Article



  • eng

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/s41379-019-0356-z

PubMed ID

  • 31477813

Additional Document Info