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Arch Hellen Med, 28(6), November-December 2011, 832-838


Incorporation of immunophenotyping and molecular changes in the diagnostic procedure for acute leukemia

Ι. Kakkas
Department of Immunology and Histocompatibility, "Evangelismos" General Hospital, Athens, Greece

The French-American-British (FAB) classification system for acute leukemia (AL) was based on cytomorphological and cytochemical criteria. The classification of AL proposed by the European Group for the Immunological Classification of Leukemias (EGIL) was based on immunophenotyping, targeting a more precise delineation of the hematological lineage and differentiation stage of specific types of leukemia. Immunophenotyping, performed mainly by flow cytometry (FC) has become fundamental for the classification of AL and essential for the recognition of the various subtypes of AL. Publication of the EGIL classification generated intense interest in the investigation of consistent relationships between cytomorphology, immunophenotype and cytogenetic changes. The earlier (2001) and current (2008) WHO classifications of AL have now incorporated cytomorphology, immunophenotyping and cytogenetic and molecular changes. Based on the current WHO classification of AL, relationships (both consistent and unstable) between cytogenetic or molecular changes and immunophenotype will be considered.

Key words: Acute leukemia, Cytogenetic changes, Cytomorphology, Immunophenotype, Molecular changes.

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