Immunophenotyping of chronic B-cell neoplasms: flow cytometry versus immunohistochemistry

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Afaf Abdel-Aziz Abdel-Ghafar
Manal Ahmed Shams El Din El Telbany
Hanan Mohamed Mahmoud
Yasmin Nabil El-Sakhawy *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Yasmin Nabil El-Sakhawy |


Morphological differentiation between benign and malignant lymphoproliferative disorders (LPDs) can be challenging. Immunophenotyping (IPT) by either technique, flow cytometry or immunohistochemistry (IHC), is an important step in solving such difficulty. Thirty-five newly diagnosed patients with chronic B-cell neoplasms (11 chronic lymphocytic leukemia, 22 non Hodgkin lymphoma and 2 hairy cell leukemia) were included in this study with age range from 20 to 70 years. Monoclonal antibodies surface expression using lymphoproliferative disorders panel (CD45, CD19, CD5, CD10, CD11c, CD20, CD22, CD23, CD38, CD79b, FMC7, CD103, CD25, kappa and lambda light chains) by flow cytometry was done on bone marrow samples. CD20, CD5, CD23, Bcl-2, Bcl-6, kappa and lambda light chain immunostaining were performed on fixed bone marrow trephine biopsy specimen. The sensitivity of IHC was 81.8% in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and 100% in non Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) as regards CD20, 100% in both groups as regards CD5, 46% in CLL and 66.7% in NHL as regards CD23, 33.3% in CLL and 50% in NHL as regards kappa chain, 20% in CLL and 33.3% in NHL as regards lambda chain. We found that IHC and flow cytometry are equally effective in diagnosing CLL; however, IHC might be slightly more sensitive than flow cytometry in detecting bone marrow infiltration in NHL and hairy cell leukemia (HCL).

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