North Texas GME Research Forum 2023



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North Texas


Medical City Arlington


Internal Medicine

Document Type


Publication Date



internal medicine, COVID-19, neoplasms, hairy cell leukemia


Hemic and Lymphatic Diseases | Internal Medicine | Neoplasms | Virus Diseases


Hairy cell leukemia is a rare lymphoid neoplasm of small mature B cell lymphoid cells. Hairy cell leukemia only accounts for about 1 to 2 percent of adult leukemia cases. Early diagnosis of Hairy cell Leukemia is important, it is proven that without treatment the median survival of this cancer is four years. After numerous studies the age-adjusted risk of death with proper diagnosis and treatment has decreased by 85%. The greatest outcomes are seen in individuals who are younger with earlier diagnosis. Hairy Cell Leukemia is a rare leukemia seen with the classic triad of splenomegaly, pancytopenia, and “hairy” appearing leukemic b cells in the bone marrow. Most patients will classically present with a constellation of symptoms that correspond to pancytopenia such as fatigue, easy bruising, bleeding, dizziness, weakness, or recurrent infections. However, sometimes a diagnosis can be missed if the patient does not present with typical symptoms. In this case report patient had a medical history of COPD, presenting with shortness of breath tested positive for COVID. Prior hospital visits were just shortness of breath with anemia and thrombocytopenia where patient was treated for COPD and sent home. This case highlights the journey of a middle-aged male with baseline respiratory issues and recent COVID vaccine, which almost caused a near missed diagnosis of a rare Hairy Cell Leukemia.

Original Publisher

HCA Healthcare Graduate Medical Education

COVID-19 Masking an Atypical presentation of Hairy Cell Leukemia



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