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Int J Oncol. 2008 Jul;33(1):169-74.

CD31 density is a novel risk factor for patients with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.

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Academic Haematology, School of Clinical and Laboratory Sciences, William Leech Building, The Medical School, Framlington Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE2 4HH, UK.


CD31 is the physiological ligand for CD38. CD38 expression in a high percentage of malignant cells is a risk factor for patients with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (B-CLL). A previous investigation demonstrated that quantification of CD38 improves upon the prognostic value of the percentage expression. A recent study states that the percentage of CD31 expression is not predictive in B-CLL. We reassessed the predictive power of CD31 in a cohort of 120 patients with B-CLL. Peripheral blood cells were stained with PCP-labelled anti (alpha)-CD19, FITC-alpha-CD5 and PE-alpha-CD31 antibodies. CD31 expression was quantified using beads of specific antibody binding capacity and the density was correlated with clinical outcome. End points were disease-specific survival and time to treatment (TTT). We report that CD31 density was significantly lower in the group of patients with Binet stage B and C of disease progression (P=0.0003). There was an inverse, significant correlation between CD31 and CD38 densities (R= -0.281, P=0.002). All CLL-related deaths occurred in patients with low CD31 density. Low CD31 predicted for poor disease outcome (survival, P=0.0087; TTT, P=0.0064) and identified Binet stage A patients (survival, P=0.0350; TTT, P=0.0716) and those with low CD38 (survival: all patients, P<0.0001; stage A, P=0.003) who followed a more aggressive clinical course. Disease-specific survival of patients with low CD31 and high CD38 densities was significantly shorter than all other groups. In addition, low CD31 density was a poor risk factor irrespective of patient age (survival: all patients, P=0.045; stage A, P=0.021) and identified patients with Binet stage B/C as the highest risk group (P<0.0001). In conclusion, low CD31 density is an adverse prognostic indicator in B-CLL. Also, low CD31 density enhances the prognostic power of CD38 density. The interaction between CD31 and CD38 and its clinical significance in B-CLL requires further investigation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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