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Precursor B Lymphoblastic Leukemia With Surface Light Chain Immunoglobulin Restriction
A Report of 15 Patients

Rina Kansal MD, George Deeb MD, Maurice Barcos MD, PhD, Meir Wetzler MD, Martin L. Brecher MD, AnneMarie W. Block PhD, Carleton C. Stewart PhD
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1309/WTXCQ5NRACVXTYBY 512-525 First published online: 1 April 2004


We describe 15 patients (9 children) with precursor B-cell (pB) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) with surface immunoglobulin (sIg) light chain restriction revealed by flow cytometric immunophenotyping (FCI). The same sIg+ immunophenotype was present at diagnosis and in 3 relapses in 1 patient. In 15 patients, blasts were CD19+CD10+ (bright coexpression) in 14, CD34+ in 12, surface κ+ in 12, surface λ+ in 3; in 8 of 8, terminal deoxyribonucleotidyl transferase (TdT)+; and in 4, surface IgD+ in 2 and surface IgM+ in 1. The 3 CD34– cases included 1 TdT+ case, 1 with t(1;19)(q23;p13), and 1 infant with 70% marrow blasts. One adult had CD10–CD19+CD20–CD22+CD34+ TdT+sIg+ blasts with t(2;11)(p21;q23). Blasts were L1 or L2 in all cases (French-American-British classification). Karyotypic analysis in 12 of 12 analyzable cases was negative for 8q24 (myc) translocation. Karyotypic abnormalities, confirmed by fluorescence in situ hybridization in 6 cases, included hyperdiploidy, t(1;19)(q23;p13), t(12;21)(p13;q22), t(9;22)(q34;q11), t(2;11)(p21;q23), and trisomy 12. The sIg light chain restriction in pB ALL might be present in neoplasms arising from the early, intermediate, and late stages of precursor B-cell maturation; sIg light chain restriction revealed by FCI does not necessarily indicate a mature B-cell phenotype, further emphasizing the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to diagnosing B-lymphoid neoplasms.

Key Words:
  • Precursor B cell
  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • Surface immunoglobulin–positive acute leukemia
  • Flow cytometry
  • WHO classification
  • Immunophenotyping