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Leukemia. 2005 May;19(5):776-83.

Flow cytometry evaluation of erythroid and myeloid dysplasia in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome.

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Division of Hematology, University of Pavia Medical School & IRCCS Policlinico S. Matteo, Pavia, Italy.


The purpose of this study was to develop a flow cytometric approach to the evaluation of marrow dysplasia in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). We first studied a cohort of 103 MDS patients as well as 46 pathological and healthy controls. Flow cytometry data were expressed as percentage of positive cells. Analysis of erythroid cells showed higher proportions of immature cells (P < 0.001) and decreased levels of CD71 expression on nucleated red cells (P = 0.02) in MDS. Analysis of myeloid cells showed lower proportions of CD10+ and higher proportions of CD56+ granulocytes (P < 0.001), and increased ratios of immature to mature cells (P = 0.007). Since no single immunophenotype could accurately differentiate MDS from other conditions, we used discriminant analysis for generating erythroid and myeloid classification functions using combinations of immunophenotypic parameters. These functions were prospectively validated in a testing cohort of 69 MDS patients and 46 pathological controls. A diagnosis of MDS was obtained in 60/69 cases (87%). No false-positive results were noticed among controls. Significant correlations between values of these functions and both degree of morphological dysplasia and the International Prognostic Scoring System were found. These findings indicate that flow cytometry evaluation of marrow dysplasia is feasible and may be useful in the work-up of individual MDS patients.

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