Flow Cytometry in Haematolymphoid Neoplasms - Principle and Applications

Author(s): Kshama Tiwari1, Sharique Ahmad2, Saeeda Wasim3, Silky Rai4

The criteria for identification of distinct disease entities among the haematological
malignancies has been immensely improvised during the past twenty years due
to the knowledge of immunophenotyping and cytogenetic studies, which are
being used by the World Health Organization (WHO) for classifying the
hematopoietic and lymphoid tissues. It endorses a multiparametric approach for
the diagnosis of different distinct entities and has taken into account not only the
morphologic and cytochemical features but also immunophenotypic, cytogenetic
as well as molecular characteristics of the various disorders. Immunophenotyping
has a great role to play in defining as well as classifying acute leukaemias.
Similarly flow cytometric immunophenotyping has become an integral part of
investigation of mature lymphoid neoplasms in clinical practice, precisely in the
diagnosis, classification, staging and monitoring of treatment response. Needless
to say that immunophenotyping has a crucial role in characterizing and
distinguishing plasma cell neoplasms and by allowing detection of maturation
asynchrony and aberrant antigen expression on multiple bone marrow lineages,
it helps in identifying and characterizing the myelodysplastic group of disorders,
thus immunophenotypic analysis is of immense help in today’s perspective for
studying and evaluating all and every aspect of haematolymphoid malignancies.
This review presents the principle and applications of flow cytometry (FC) with
respect to haematolymphoid neoplasms.