The body cavities are rarely involved in hairy cell
leukaemia. Here we report a patient who had pancytopenia, hepatosplenomegaly, massive haemorrhagic ascites, pleural effusion at the left hemithorax and increased CA 125 serum level at the time of initial diagnosis. Laparoscopy showed multiple nodular white, opaque lesions on the omentum and on the parietal peritoneum. Laparoscopic biopsy of these lesions, and a bone marrow biopsy revealed a diffuse
cellular infiltrate of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase
staining mononuclear cells. These mononuclear cells with
irregular cytoplasmic protrusions were also found in the
peripheral blood, in the ascites fluid and in the pleural
effusion. The patient was treated with cladribine 0.1 mg/kg/day with continuous infusion for seven days. Three months after the treatment, the patient achieved a complete remission with normalisation of the peripheral blood count, bone marrow findings, CA 125 serum level, with no detectable ascites and/or pleural effusion.