Canine intravascular lymphoma with overt leukemia

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A 6-year-old spayed Labrador Retriever Mix dog was evaluated for a 2-week history of progressive generalized weakness and reluctance to stand. Physical examination revealed severe weakness with obtunded mentation, head tilt, bilateral nystagmus, and decreased vision. CBC findings included mild nonregenerative anemia, marked thrombocytopenia, and a few atypical mononuclear cells on the blood film. The cells were 15–30 μm in diameter and had round to oval to reniform centrally placed nuclei with stippled chromatin, prominent nucleoli, and abundant basophilic cytoplasm with numerous discrete vacuoles and, occasionally, small azurophilic granules. Similar cells were found in bone marrow. On histologic examination of tissues collected at necropsy, neoplastic cells were detected in bone marrow, hepatic sinusoids, cerebral and meningeal vessels, and in capillaries of the heart, renal interstitium, small intestinal submucosa, and muscularis, and alveolar septa. A small discrete mass in the right atrium consisted of similar neoplastic cells, and the spleen was diffusely infiltrated. Tissue distribution was suggestive of intravascular lymphoma. Neoplastic cells in tissue sections were immunoreactive for vimentin, CD18, CD45, and granzyme B and lacked immunoreactivity for cytokeratin. Neoplastic cells on bone marrow aspirate smears and blood films lacked immunoreactivity for CD3, CD79a, CD1c, CD11b, CD11c, CD11d, and E-cadherin. In the absence of immunophenotypic evidence for the neoplastic cells being derived from B-cell, T-cell, or histocytic/dendritic lineages and the lack of clonal antigen receptor gene rearrangement(s), along with positive immunoreactivity for granzyme B, a tumor of NK cells was considered likely. Based on current knowledge, this is the first report of canine intravascular lymphoma, of probable NK cell origin, with peripheral blood involvement.

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