CD103 (Hairy Cell Marker)

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  • CD103 (Hairy Cell Marker)

    6 tests included



blood sample




Age group

7 years & above

Leukaemia is a type of cancer that attacks the blood-forming tissues, thus diminishing the body's ability to fight off infection. It negatively impacts the white blood cells and generally starts from the lymphatic system and the bone marrow. Several different types of leukaemia exist. One of them is hairy cell leukaemia (HCL).

Hairy cell leukaemia is a scarce type of bone marrow and blood cancer. It severely affects the B lymphocytes, the white blood cells that create antibodies to fight against infections. HCL causes an abnormal abundance of faulty B lymphocytes that don't function normally.

Since the abnormal B lymphocytes increase in number, it takes away the space from the healthy lymphocytes, leading to weak immunity and leaving you prone to infections.

Additionally, the abnormal growth of B lymphocytes can also cause the decreased production of platelets and red blood cells. Some rare cases of HCL also impact the T lymphocytes whose main function is to aid the B lymphocytes fight off infections.

Exact causes of HCL are not yet known. However, there are some common symptoms that you can look out for:

  • Extreme weakness
  • Constant feeling of fatigue
  • Breathlessness
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Extreme sweating (especially at night)
  • Tiny red spots on the skin
  • Frequent fevers and infections
  • Easy bleeding and bruising
  • Enlarged spleen and liver
  • Pain in bone, especially under the ribs

Although, keep in mind that you may not notice any symptoms in the initial stages of HCL.

If you notice the progression of any of these symptoms, especially if you suffer from persistent cough and fever, infection and unwarranted bleeding, then it's time to call your healthcare provider.

CD103 (Hairy Cell Marker) test may come in extremely handy when there is a low count of white blood cells. Your doctors may conclude the HCL diagnosis based on the following tests:

  • A detailed CT scan to check whether you have an enlarged spleen or liver
  • A blood count test to measure your red and white blood cells along with platelets
  • A peripheral blood smear to check for hairy cells
  • Biopsy of your bone marrow

Immunophenotyping - A blood or bone marrow sample to identify particular markers or protein patterns
If your doctor orders a CD103 (Hairy Cell Marker) test, you can conveniently book one through Apollo 24|7’s website.

This test will help:

  • Determine if you have hairy cells
  • Recognize if there is an integrin subunit or the CD103 antigen on the cell surface, which indicates B-cell lymphoproliferative disorder
  • Proceed with proper treatment after the diagnosis

faqFrequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are some other names for hairy cell leukaemia?

Hairy cell leukaemia is known by several names like malignant reticulosis, histiocytic leukaemia or lymphoid myelofibrosis.

What are the risk factors for hairy cell leukaemia?

While there are no known causes of what leads to hairy cell leukaemia, there are some specific factors that increase the risk of developing HCL: Past exposure to radiation  Exposure to agricultural and industrial chemicals These factors are still  being studied to determine their exact impact.

Can untreated hairy cell leukaemia cause any complications?

The growth of HCL is relatively slow, and the disease can remain stable for several years. Hence, there are not many complications. That said, if HCL is left untreated, it can indeed cause certain troubles like: Anaemia: Lower red blood cells will lead to issues with oxygen circulation through the body, which will cause anaemia and extreme tiredness. Bleeding: HCL causes low platelets, leading to unstoppable bleeding once you start, inexplicable bruising and bleeding from the gums and nose. Infections: HCL causes a lack of healthy white blood cells, leaving you at a bad risk of contracting diseases that your body cannot prevent.

Are people suffering from HCL at high risk for second cancer?

As it turns out, people with hairy cell leukaemia are at higher risk of developing another type of cancer. There is no substantial clarity on whether this is due to HCL's effect on the body or if the medications and treatment cause it.

Is an immediate treatment plan necessary for people with HCL?

Since HCL progresses very slowly, getting on a treatment plan may not be extremely necessary right after diagnosis. Sometimes, this cancer may not even progress so you can delay the treatment. However, your doctor may closely monitor the cancer progression in follow-up appointments.

What are some effective treatment plans to put HCL in remission?

There is no definitive cure for HCL. Some treatment plans that may help are as follows: Chemotherapy Biological therapy Blood transfusion Antibiotics to fight off infections Surgery (removal of the spleen)

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The information mentioned above is meant for educational purposes only and should not be taken as a substitute to your Physician’s advice. It is highly recommended that the customer consults with a qualified healthcare professional to interpret test results