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Br J Haematol. 1989 Aug;72(4):512-8.

Unusual immunophenotypes in acute leukaemias: incidence and clinical correlations.

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Haematology Department, Westmead Hospital, New South Wales, Australia.


The incidence and clinical implications of unusual patterns of expression of leucocyte differentiation antigens in acute leukaemia were assessed on 568 newly diagnosed paediatric and adult cases undergoing immunophenotyping with a panel of monoclonal antibodies at a single centre. Among patients with the precursor B (common) form of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), the major variant seen was the group of 15 cases with expression of myeloid surface antigens. 4.5% of ALL cases tested with antibody to CD-11b were positive, 5.1% were CD-13+, and 10.8% CD-33+. All 15 patients achieved a complete remission with chemotherapy, with six of eight children and four of seven adults remaining disease free. A smaller proportion (1.5%) of precursor B ALL patients showed expression of the T lineage marker, CD-7. The only significant variant seen in the precursor T-ALL group was expression of HLA-DR antigen, which was found in five of 35 cases; although all responded to treatment, only one remains a disease-free survivor. Among patients with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), expression of the lymphoid markers terminal transferase (TdT) and CD-7 were commonly seen (22.2% and 28.4% respectively of cases tested). Other lymphoid markers detected on AML cases were CD2 (11.1%), CD-10 (1%) and CD-19 (4.4%). These results confirm that examples of lineage infidelity are regularly seen in large series of patients with acute leukaemia. Prospective studies using uniform treatment protocols are required to establish whether these patients have significantly different disease outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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