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Flow cytometric evaluation of proliferative activity and ploidy in myelodysplastic syndromes and acute leukemias



Flow cytometric evaluation of proliferative activity and ploidy in myelodysplastic syndromes and acute leukemias



Basic and Applied Histochemistry 30(2): 181-192



Propidium iodide (PI) DNA distribution of bone marrow (BM) cells was studied by flow cytometry (FCM) in 36 patients without hematologic or malignant disease (normal BM) and in 172 patients with anemias (36 pts), myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) (33 pts) and acute leukemia (AL) at diagnosis (60 pts), remission (24 pts) and relapse (19 pts). White blood cells from normal male subjects were used as an external diploid reference standard (median CV = 3.8). Patients with normal BM, anemias, MDS and acute leukemia at diagnosis had tritiated thymidine labeling index (LI) and most with MDS and AL had also evaluable cytogenetics performed on the same BM sample used for FCM. In normal BM, median aliquot of cells with PI-DNA content intermediate between the diploid and the tetraploid value (2n-4n cells %) was 15.7. The ratio between the fluorescence intensity of the G0/1 peak of normal BM cells and the fluorescence intensity of the G0/1 peak of the reference standard (FI ratio) ranged from 93 to 1.05 (mean +/- 2SD). The 2n-4n cell % was higher than normal in anemias (p less than .001), lower in leukemias (p less than .001) and widely scattered in MDS. A linear correlation was found between 2n-4n cell % and LI, with 2n-4n cell % value higher than LI. The FI ratio was lower than normal in anemias (p less than .05), higher in AL with normal cytogenetics (p less than .02) and broadly scattered in MDS with normal cytogenetics. From our experience, PI-DNA-FCM is a simple and adequate method to evaluate proliferative activity in hematologic diseases. Nevertheless, caution must be taken in attributing small changes in FI ratio to aneuploidy, since they are found in anemias and in MDS and AL with normal cytogenetics, possibly due to differences in PI uptake by different cell types.

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Accession: 040153438

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PMID: 2427061


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