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Comparison of Immunophenotypes of Small B-Cell Neoplasms in Primary Lymph Node and Concurrent Blood or Marrow Samples

Yin Xu MD, PhD, Robert W. McKenna MD, Sheryl L. Asplund MD, Steven H. Kroft MD
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1309/11J6-0U42-VF4E-WA02 758-764 First published online: 1 November 2002


Immunophenotyping of small B-cell neoplasms (SBCNs) may have a critical role in diagnosis. However, there are few data addressing whether the immunophenotypes of SBCNs in bone marrow (BM) and peripheral blood (PB) are representative of those in other tissue sites. We compared the immunophenotypic features of concurrently analyzed lymph node (LN) and BM/PB specimens using multiparameter flow cytometry. Fifty-five SBCNs were identified: 27 follicular lymphomas (FLs), 16 chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphomas (CLL/SLLs), and 12 mantle cell lymphomas (MCLs). Major (presence vs absence) or minor (alteration of intensity) variations in expression of individual antigens between LN and BM/PB were observed in up to 25% of cases within a particular SBCN category. All FLs and CLL/SLLs maintained characteristic immunopheno-types in BM/PB. Potentially misleading variations included 1 case of MCL that failed to express CD5 in BM and likely would have been immunophenotypically misclassified as a marginal zone lymphoma and another MCL that expressed moderate CD23 in PB and would have required additional studies for precise classification. The remaining major and minor variations would not have affected interpretation.

Key Words:
  • Small B-cell lymphoma
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Flow cytometry
  • Bone marrow
  • Peripheral blood
  • Lymph node