This study evaluated the contributing roles of flow cytometric immunophenotyping of blood and bone marrow and immunohistochemical paraffin section staining of bone marrow biopsies in the staging of B-cell malignant lymphoma. Flow immunophenotyping was performed on a marrow specimen in 175 cases; a corresponding blood specimen was also immunophenotyped in 135 of these cases. Morphologic marrow involvement by lymphoma was found in 59 cases; flow immunophenotyping identified 54 cases with a monoclonal B-cell process: morphology-positive/flow-positive (n = 49), morphology- positive/flow-negative (n = 10), morphology-negative/flow-positive (n = 5), and morphology-negative/flow-negative (n = 111). The 10 morphology- positive/flow-negative cases included 5 follicular and 5 large-cell lymphomas with minimal marrow involvement. All 5 morphology-negative/flow-positive cases were from patients with large-cell lymphomas and bulky clinical disease. Because the blood contained the same B-cell clone in 2 of 2 morphology-negative/flow-positive cases studied, blood contamination of marrow may account for these findings. Blood flow cytometric immunophenotyping studies were positive in 32 cases; 30 had marrow involvement by morphology and were from patients with follicular, mantle cell, lymphoplasmacytic, small lymphocytic, or marginal zone lymphomas. From our results, we conclude that (1) bone marrow flow cytometric immunophenotyping is not a cost-effective replacement for good morphologic evaluation in lymphoma staging and that 12) a positive peripheral blood flow cytometric immunophenotyping study when performed in low-grade lymphomas correlates with marrow involvement.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology