Some recent reports indicate a high frequency of immunophenotypic aberrancy in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). To investigate this issue with regard to adult ALL, the authors reviewed the immunophenotyping data from 39 cases analyzed in their clinical laboratory. Flow cytometric analysis of peripheral blood and/or bone marrow was performed with the use of a panel of 21 B-cell, T-cell, and myeloid monoclonal antibodies (moAbs). The surface antigen profiles of the leukemic cells were compared with those of normal bone marrow and thymic counterparts, as defined by current models. Twenty-six cases were B-precursor ALL, 8 were T-ALL, and 3 were B-ALL (Burkitt's leukemia). Only two cases coexpressed lymphoid and myeloid antigens. In contrast, intralineage aberrancy was quite common. Immunophenotypes from 13 of 26 B-precursor ALL cases deviated from normal B-lineage marrow cells as defined by a recent classification. The T-ALL cases were also immunophenotypically heterogeneous. This high incidence of aberrant antigen expression in adult ALL suggests that leukemogenesis also involves aberrant differentiation rather than purely a process of maturational arrest.
- Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
- Flow cytometry
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine