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Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2012;5(3):224-30. Epub 2012 Mar 25.

Utility of peripheral blood flow cytometry in differentiating low grade versus high grade myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and in the evaluation of cytopenias.

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University of California San Diego School of Medicine & VA Medical Center San Diego, USA.


The diagnostic utility of flow cytometry in the evaluation of cytopenias and in the differential diagnosis of low-grade versus high-grade myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is not widely appreciated. In this report, we measured granulocyte CD10/control fluorescence ratio in 29 patients with MDS & chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) using peripheral blood (PB) flow cytometry (FC). We found a lower ratio in high-grade MDS and CMML (mean ratio of 2.2 ± 0.7) vs. low-grade MDS (3.65 ± 0.9) and 16 cytopenic controls without MDS (3.67 ± 0.65; p<0.001). The sensitivity and specificity of CD10 ratio <3 for the group that included the high risk MDS and CMML patients were 87.5% and 100%, respectively. Our data suggests that FC of PB may be helpful in the work-up of patients with cytopenias and in the differential diagnosis of low-grade vs. high-grade MDS.


CD10; Myelodysplastic syndromes; bone marrow; flow cytometry; high-grade MDS; low-grade MDS; peripheral blood

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