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Flow cytometry CD45 gating for immunophenotyping of acute myeloid leukemia


A flow cytometry method has been introduced into the routine investigation of whole bone marrow samples following red blood cell lysis on the basis of a primary CD45/side scatter (SSC) gating procedure. Blast cells were first identified by CD45/SSC gating in 74 cases of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and the results were compared to a conventional FSC/SSC gating procedure and to MGG-staining smears. The percentages of blast cells in these samples as defined by the morphological analysis of MGG smears correlated better with the values determined by CD45/SSC gating (r = 0.94) than with the blast cell counts recorded with FSC/SSC gating (r = 0.76). These findings were not surprising because while CD45 expression was regularly lower on leukemic blasts than on normal lymphoid and monocytic cells, the FCS/SSC characteristics of these populations were overlapping. In 53 samples, the blast cell populations were also analyzed with a panel of FITC-conjugated monoclonal antibodies that were utilized in double labeling with CD45-PE. We show that the CD45/SSC gating procedure improved phenotypic determination of the blast cells in three ways: (1) by discriminating between leukemic blast cells and residual normal cells; (2) by excluding normal cells from the phenotypic analysis of leukemic blast cells; and (3) by identifying blast cell heterogeneity in many cases of leukemia on the basis of different CD45 display. Moreover, this immunophenotyping procedure on whole bone marrow samples also allowed an efficient discrimination between the various cell lineages and facilitated the analysis of leukemic blasts present in low proportions.

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Lacombe, F., Durrieu, F., Briais, A. et al. Flow cytometry CD45 gating for immunophenotyping of acute myeloid leukemia. Leukemia 11, 1878–1886 (1997).

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  • acute myeloid leukemia
  • immunophenotyping
  • CD45
  • flow cytometry

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