The autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS) is a rare disease. ALPS is an inherited condition that affects both sexes. ALPS is not cancer, it is not infectious, and its incidence has not yet been estimated. ALPS generally does not lead to death and most individuals with ALPS are able to live normal lives. ALPS is a disorder associated with abnormal lymphocyte apoptosis, lymphoproliferation, and autoimmunity. Serologic testing is critical in the evaluation of these individuals. Lymphoproliferation in ALPS patients is generally benign, but they are at increased risk for the development of Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. It is characterized by massive lymphoadenopathy, splenomegaly, autoimmunity including episodes of immune hemolityc anemia, thrombocytopenia, and neutropenia. ALPS patients have lymphocytosis and a number of lymphocyte abnormalities, including the marked expansion of T lymphocytes that express alpha/beta T-cell receptors, but neither CD4 nor CD8 surface markers (TCR alpha/beta+; CD4-; CD8- cells).
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