Karyotypes of 107 cases with adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (58 male, 49 female; 81 acute or lymphoma type, 26 chronic or smoldering type) were reviewed by a panel of cytogeneticists and were correlated with the subtypes of the disease. Clonal chromosome abnormalities were found in 103 (96%) cases, of which four had hypotetraploidy. Of 184 numerical abnormalities in the remaining 99 cases with near- or pseudodiploidy, trisomies for chromosomes 3 (21% of cases), 7 (10%), and 21 (9%), monosomy for X chromosome (38%) in the female, and loss of a Y chromosome (17%) in the male were more frequent than expected (P < 0.01). Of 373 structural abnormalities in all the 103 aneuploid cases, translocations involving 14q32 (28%) or 14q11 (14%) and deletion of 6q (23%) were most frequent, followed by deletion of 10p (9%), 3q (8%), 5q, 9q, and 13q (7% each), and 1p and 7p (6% each). The proportion of cases with aneuploid clones (with > or < 46 chromosomes), the average numbers per case of both numerical and structural abnormalities, and marker chromosomes were larger in the aggressive acute or lymphoma type than in the nonaggressive chronic or smoldering type (P < 0.01). The combination of rearrangement in 14q32 and monosomy X (seven cases) or deletion of 10p (six cases), and that of trisomy 3 and deletion in 6q21 (six cases), occurred only in the acute or lymphoma type and may be associated with the aggressiveness in adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma.

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Supported by Grants-in-Aid for Cancer Research f(59S-1, 62S-1, and 2S-1) from the Ministry of Health and Welfare of Japan.

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