CLL Support Association
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Atypical Variant 1 lymphocytes

Since I have changed oncologists, I can no longer figure out my ALC. He gives 2 readings, one for lymphocyte percentage, and another for Atypical Variant 1 lymphocyte percentage. do I add these together to get lymph percentage? I have never heard of atypical lymphocytes. Have been following my A LC after every visit, but all the measurements are done so differently with the new oncologist. Can anyone out there guide me ? I do get the WBC, but do not know where're to go from there.

5 Replies

I have the same situation. I just now input in google search: @ATL in CBC

and got a site that lists and explains. It looks like a

foreign site (ukraine or russian?) I haven't figured it all out, but that is what came up and it is about 8 pages of info.


Thank you so much for your response. I was unable to access google, but am aware that my new doc is Russian, so maybe that explains his method. Why they just don,t give you the ALC I do not know. I did add then together to get a total lymph percentage, but it still seems weird


Hi Wetumpka, this is almost certainly nothing to be concerned about at all.

Normal lymphocytes come in a wider variety of types, shapes and sizes than you might imagine and the automatic anyalysers/cell counters that test your blood classify them according to size and how they scatter light (which tells them about cytoplasmic granules and the nuclear/cytoplasmic ratio).

Morphologically, when you look down the microscope, some lymphocytes can be described as atypical which just means literally 'not typical' but not necessarily abnormal and everyone has some in their blood. I think Atypical Variant 1 lymphocyte is probably a notation used by the manufacturer of the anyalyser they have used to describe some cells it knows are lymphocytes but that don't necessarily fit the usual pattern and it won't know what sort of lymphocytes they are. Sometimes it's a trigger to look at the cells under the microscope but not often. Everyone will have them.

Regarding your results, the important number is the absolute number of lymphocytes rather than the % (and both lymphocyte results should be added together). If you you only get the % then you can work out the absolute number if you know the total white cell count.

Most results are reported in absolute numbers these days so I would ask for that.

best wishes


Thank you so much for the info. I did not ever see this format before. Never have seen any reference to atypical lymphs. Mine are 80 percent which sounded scary, and then they said lymph percentage was 9. I took this to be 89 percent lymphs times WBC count...does this sound right? I got AlC of about 79, which although high, does seem to fall in line with a fairly progressive disease. Still has not doubled in a year even, but wish it would slow down!!! Your help is very much appreciated, and also the prompt response.

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Hiya, 89% sounds about right. ALC of 79 is fine, sounds as though it's not progressing too quickly. Take care x


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