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Clin Chem. 2007 May;53(5):890-6. Epub 2007 Mar 23.

Chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) and complete myeloperoxidase deficiency both yield strongly reduced dihydrorhodamine 123 test signals but can be easily discerned in routine testing for CGD.

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  • 1University Clinic Carl Gustav Carus, Department of Pediatrics, Dresden, Germany.



The flow cytometric dihydrorhodamine 123 (DHR) assay is used as a screening test for chronic granulomatous disease (CGD), but complete myeloperoxidase (MPO) deficiency can also lead to a strongly decreased DHR signal. Our aim was to devise simple laboratory methods to differentiate MPO deficiency (false positive for CGD) and NADPH oxidase abnormalities (true CGD).


We measured NADPH-oxidase and MPO activity in neutrophils from MPO-deficient patients, CGD patients, NADPH-oxidase-transfected K562 cells and cells with inhibited and substituted MPO.


Eosinophils from MPO-deficient individuals retain eosinophilic peroxidase and therefore generate a normal DHR signal. The addition of recombinant human MPO enhances the DHR signal when simply added to a suspension of MPO-deficient cells but not when added to NADPH-oxidase-deficient (CGD) cells. Lucigenin-enhanced chemiluminescence (LCL) is increased in neutrophils from MPO-deficient patients, whereas neutrophils from patients with CGD show a decreased response.


A false-positive result caused by MPO deficiency can be easily ascertained because, unlike cells from a CGD patient, cells from MPO-deficient patients (a) contain functionally normal eosinophils, (b) show a significant enhancement of the DHR signal following addition of rhMPO, and (c) generate a strong LCL signal.

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