Multiparameter flow cytometry to detect hematogones and to assess B-lymphocyte clonality in bone marrow samples from patients with non-Hodgkin lymphomas
AbstractHematogones are precursors of B-lymphocytes detected in small numbers in the bone marrow. Flow cytometry is the most useful tool to identify hematogones and, so far, 4-color methods have been published. In addition, flow cytometry is used in the diagnosis and follow-up of lymphomas. We developed a flow cytometric 7-color method to enumerate hematogones and to assess B-lymphocyte clonality for routine purposes. We evaluated 171 cases of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas, either at diagnosis or in the course of follow-up. By our diagnostic method, which was carried out by the combination K/l/CD20/CD19/CD10/CD45/CD5, we were able to detect hematogones in 97.6% of samples and to distinguish normal B-lymphocytes, neoplastic lymphocytes and hematogones in a single step. The percentage of hematogones showed a significant inverse correlation with the degree of neoplastic infiltration and, when bone marrow samples not involved by disease were taken into consideration, resulted higher in patients during follow-up than in patients evaluated at diagnosis.
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