What is the role of flow cytometry (immunophenotyping) in the evaluation of acute myeloid leukemia (AML)?

Updated: May 26, 2020
  • Author: Karen Seiter, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

Flow cytometry (immunophenotyping) can be used to help distinguish AML from acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) and further classify the subtype of AML (see the table below). The immunophenotype correlates with prognosis in some instances.

Table 1. Common Antigens for Immunophenotyping of AML Cells (Open Table in a new window)

Marker

Lineage

CD13

Myeloid

CD33

Myeloid

CD34

Early precursor

HLA-DR

Positive in most AML, negative in APL

CD11b

Mature monocytes

CD14

Monocytes

CD41

Platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa complex

CD42a

Platelet glycoprotein IX

CD42b

Platelet glycoprotein Ib

CD61

Platelet glycoprotein IIIa

Glycophorin A

Erythroid

TdT

Usually indicates acute lymphocytic leukemia, however, may be positive in M0 or M1

CD11c

Myeloid

CD117 (c-kit)

Myeloid/stem cell


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