Indian Journal of Pathology and Microbiology
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Immunophenotypic characterization of normal and abnormal plasma cells in bone marrow of newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients


1 Department of Pathology, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Medical Oncology, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Namrata Punit Awasthi,
Department of Pathology, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh - 226 010
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijpm.ijpm_505_21

Background: Identification of plasma cells into abnormal (APC) and normal (NPC) compartments is of utmost importance in flow cytometric (FC) analysis of multiple myeloma (MM) and related plasma cell dyscrasias for diagnosis, prognosis, and follow-up. No single phenotypic marker is sufficient to distinguish NPC from APC. Materials and Methods: 43 newly diagnosed cases of MM and 13 controls were included in the study. Bone marrow (BM) samples from the 2nd pass were processed on the same day with antibodies against CD38, CD138, CD19, CD81, CD45, CD117, CD200, CD56, cytoKappa, and cytoLambda in a 4-color experiment with CD38 and CD138 as gating antibodies. Results: Mean APC% in cases was 96.5%. The expected Immunophenotype (IP) of APC which is CD19-/56+/45-/81-/117+/200+ was found in only 13/43 MM cases. In 30/43 cases, APC revealed deviation from expected IP either for single or a combination of markers. Sensitivity for APC detection was highest for CD19 (95.2%) followed by CD56 (90.4%) and CD81 (83.7%). Specificity was highest for CD19 (100%), CD56 (100%), and CD81 (100%) followed by CD117 (92.3%). Combination of markers with maximum sensitivity to detect APC (97.6%) was CD81- or CD19- and CD200+ or CD56+ (two markers); and for NPC (92.3%) was CD81+ and CD19+ and CD56- (three markers). Conclusion: Plasma cell IP can be highly variable with multiple minor subpopulations in both cases and normal controls. CD 19 and CD56 are highly informative markers for a 4-color experiment. Assessment of multiple markers in an 8–10 color experiment is more informative but the lack of advanced flow cytometers should not limit the use of FC in a 4-color approach. Our results emphasize that even basic equipment with limited fluorochrome can provide meaningful information if used appropriately


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    -  Awasthi NP
    -  Mishra S
    -  Gupta G
    -  Kumari S
    -  Bajpayee A
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