Immunologic characterization of lymphocytic leukemias

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Immunophenotyping has become an important adjunct to the routine morphologic and cytochemical evaluation of leukemias. The development and refinement of immunologic techniques applicable to the general clinical pathology laboratory and the commercial availability of lineage-specific monoclonal antibodies have enhanced this technology as a diagnostic tool. Lymphoid leukemias, in particular, can be accurately identified and subclassified according to their immunologic characteristics, as defined by lymphocyte differentiation antigens. Immunophenotypic classification has also been demonstrated to have prognostic significance for certain acute and chronic lymphoid leukemias. This review considers current immunotyping methods, characteristics of the antibody probes used, and the immunophenotypic characteristics of the acute and chronic lymphoid leukemias.



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