Incidence of phenotypic aberrations in a series of 467 patients with B chronic lymphoproliferative disorders: basis for the design of specific four-color stainings to be used for minimal residual disease investigation.Leukemia. 2002 Aug; 16(8):1460-9.L
Multiparameter immunophenotypic analysis of neoplastic cells has proven to be of great help for the investigation of minimal residual disease in acute leukemias; however, its utility has not been systematically explored in B cell chronic lymphoproliferative disorders. The aim of the present study was to investigate the incidence of phenotypic aberrations in a series of 467 consecutive leukemic B cell chronic lymphoproliferative disorders through the comparison of the phenotypic characteristics of tumor vs normal peripheral blood (n = 10) and bone marrow (n = 10) B cells, in order to explore the applicability of this strategy for minimal residual disease monitoring. An additional goal of our study was to evaluate the sensitivity of multiparameter flow cytometry for the detection of minimal residual disease in leukemic B cell chronic lymphoproliferative disorders through dilutional experiments (n = 19). From the patients analyzed 382 corresponded to B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (353 typical and 29 atypical); five to prolymphocytic leukemia; 13 to hairy cell leukemias; 12 to lymphoplasmacytic lymphomas; 14 to splenic marginal zone lymphomas; 22 were follicular lymphomas; and 19 mantle cell lymphomas. The following triple stainings were systematically applied to both normal and leukemic samples: FMC7/CD5/CD19, CD22/CD23/CD19, CD103/CD25/CD19, CD10/CD11c/CD19 and sIg/sIg(lambda)/CD19. Overall, 98% of the leukemic B cell chronic lymphoproliferative disorders cases displayed aberrant phenotypes at diagnosis with no significant differences being found between cases analyzed in peripheral blood vs bone marrow samples. The most common types of aberrant criteria detected included asynchronous antigen expression (92%) and antigen over-expression (54%); abnormally light scatter characteristics were found in 17% of the cases. Most of the cases studied (90%) displayed four or more phenotypic aberrations. Once patients were divided according to the different diagnostic subgroups, the overall incidence of aberrant phenotypes ranged from 79 to 80% among atypical B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma and prolymphocytic leukemia to 97% of follicular lymphoma and 100% of typical B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma, hairy cell leukemia, lymphoplasmacytic lymphomas, splenic marginal zone lymphomas and mantle cell lymphomas. Based on the aberrant phenotypes detected unique four-color stainings could be built for the specific identification of aberrant phenotypes. These include CD22/CD23/CD19/CD5 and sIg(kappa)/sIg(lambda)/CD19/CD5 for lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma and prolymphocytic leukemia, CD103/CD25 or CD22/CD19/CD11c for hairy cell leukemia, FMC7/CD22/CD19/CD103 and sIg(kappa)/sIg(lambda)/CD22/CD19 for splenic marginal zone lymphomas, CD22/CD23/CD19/CD10 for follicular lymphomas and CD10/CD22/CD19/CD5 for mantle cell lymphomas. Serial dilutional experiments showed that the sensitivity level of immunophenotyping ranges between 10(-4) and 10(-5). In summary, the present study shows that immunophenotypic analysis allows the identification of aberrant phenotypes in 98% of leukemic B cell chronic lymphoproliferative disorders and these phenotypes can be used for minimal residual disease monitoring with a sensitivity limit of 10(-4)-10(-5).