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Sangre (Barc). 1999 Jun;44(3):199-203.

[Detection of PNH clones using flow cytometry in aplastic anemia and paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria].

[Article in Spanish]

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Servicio de Hematología y Hemoterapia, Clínica Puerta de Hierro, Madrid.



To detect and quantify by flow cytometry (FC) PNH clones in paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria (PNH) and aplastic anaemia (AA) patients.


We have performed a flow cytometric analysis to determine the granulocyte expression of CD55 and CD59 from 29 patients with AA and 11 patients with PNH.


In the 11 PNH patients the study showed 58 +/- 34% and 56 +/- 32% (mean +/- SD) CD55(-) y CD59(-) granulocytes. A good correlation was found between the results of FC and haemolysis. The follow-up study showed PNH clone progression in one case and stability in 5 cases. Among 11 AA patients studied at diagnosis, two presented a population of CD55(-) granulocytes (14% and 48%) with CD59 normal, this defect disappeared in both patients after immunosuppressive therapy. The FC study revealed PNH clones in 7 cases among the 26 analyzed after treatment (23 with ATG and/or CyA), in 3 cases with negative Ham's test (in two this became positive 6 and 12 months later). The mean values obtained in these 7 patients with PNH-AA syndrome were 26 +/- 15% y 36 +/- 30% (mean +/- SD) CD55(-) and CD59(-) granulocytes. The median time from diagnosis to detection of PNH phenomenon was 83 months. In the follow-up study, 4 cases had stability, one case had a decrease and one a progression of the abnormal clone. In a retrospective analysis, among the 7 patients with PNH-AA syndrome, 5 had a partial response after the initial treatment.


The FC on granulocytes is a useful method to diagnose and characterize PNH. This test is good for early detection of PNH clones in AA patients at initial diagnosis and in long term survivors. In both diseases it permits measuring the extent of the abnormal clone and its follow up. The extent of the defect is more related to haemolysis than the haematopoietic deficiency. PNH development seems to be more frequent in AA patients with incomplete response after immunosuppressive therapy and in some cases the defect could be latent at the time of diagnosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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