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Characterization of CD13 and CD33 Surface Antigen–Negative Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Nada Kraguljac, Dragomir Marisavljevic MD, Gradimir Jankovic PhD, Nina Radoševic MD, Milena Pantic, Milena Donfrid MD, Nataša Miletic, Darinka Boškovic PhD, Milica Colovic PhD
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1309/MFCP-7GMW-AQM4-ED3N 29-34 First published online: 1 July 2000


From a cohort of 220 adults with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML), 8 (3.6%) exhibited a rare variant of aberrant membrane phenotype. It was characterized with typical myeloid morphologic and cytochemical patterns and absence of myeloid associated antigens (CD13, CD33, CD14, glycophorin A, CD61). According to the French-American-British criteria, disease in 5 patients was classified as M1 and in 3 patients as M2. CD34, CD38, HLA-DR, and CD45 were strongly expressed in 4 of 5, 3 of 3, 8 of 8, and 3 of 3 analyzed cases, respectively. CD7 antigen was strongly expressed in 4 of 6 patients. Except for predominance of male sex and high frequency of CD7 antigen expression, no other remarkable clinical or biologic characteristics were noted. Detected variant of AML with the unusual membrane phenotype (CD34+, HLA-DR-positive, CD38+, CD45+, CD7+) might represent an example of extreme asynchrony in sequences of morphologic and immunologic maturation or abnormal epitope expression on leukemic cell membrane molecules CD13 and CD33. Although the clinical significance of this AML variant is unclear, the existence of such cases demonstrates the continued need for simultaneous cytochemical and immunologic studies in the evaluation of acute leukemias.

Key Words:
  • Acute myeloid leukemia
  • AML
  • Aberrant immunophenotypes
  • CD13
  • CD33
  • CD7