Peripheral blood lymphocytes from 11 patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia were stimulated by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), lipopolysaccharide from Escherichia (LPS), and phytohemagglutinin (PHA). Chromosome analysis with the Q-banding technique after 5 days incubation revealed an extra chromosome 12 in 5 of the patients and a translocation between chromosome 11 and chromosome 14 in 1. Two patients had a deletion of chromosome 6, and only 3 patients had a normal karyotype. In most patients, the abnormalities were found in the majority of metaphases after stimulation with EBV, LPS, or both mitogens, while PHA revealed a normal karyotype, with the exception of a total of 4 metaphases in 3 patients. An extra chromosome 12 appears to be specifically associated with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The frequency of chromosomal abnormalities in this disease appears to be much higher than has previously been thought.

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