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Am J Clin Pathol. 2011 Oct;136(4):625-30. doi: 10.1309/AJCPKUM9J4IXCWEU.

Characteristic CD103 and CD123 expression pattern defines hairy cell leukemia: usefulness of CD123 and CD103 in the diagnosis of mature B-cell lymphoproliferative disorders.

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National Cancer Institute, 10 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


By using flow cytometry, we studied CD103 and CD123 expression by the malignant cells in 300 B-cell lymphoproliferative disorder (BC-LPD) cases, including 114 hairy cell leukemia (HCL), 20 HCL variant (HCLv), 9 splenic marginal zone lymphoma (SMZL; in 5, only CD103 was evaluated), 133 chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), 3 follicular lymphoma (FL), and 21 mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). All HCLs expressed uniform CD103 and bright CD123. Among the 20 HCLv cases, 20 (100%) were CD103+ and 8 (40%) were CD123+ (partial or dim). CD103 was negative in all MCL, FL, CLL, and SMZL cases. CD123 was positive in 1 (25%) of 4 SMZL, 3.8% of CLL (5/133), 7 (33%) of 21 MCL, and 1 (33%) of 3 FL cases. CD103 is specific for HCL and HCLv. CD123 expression is more widespread in BC-LPDs but is useful in conjunction with CD25 to differentiate HCLv from HCL. These findings support the usefulness of CD123 and CD103 to aid in the differential diagnosis of BC-LPDs.

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