Applications of flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry to diagnostic hematopathology

Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2004 Sep;128(9):1004-22. doi: 10.5858/2004-128-1004-AOFCAI.


Objective: Diagnostic hematopathology depends on the applications of flow cytometric immunophenotyping and immunohistochemical immunophenotyping combined with the cytomorphology and histologic features of each case. Select cases may require additional ancillary cytogenetic and molecular studies for diagnosis. The purpose of this review is to focus on the applications of flow cytometric and immunohistochemical immunophenotyping of paraffin-embedded tissue to diagnostic hematopathology. Advantages and disadvantages of these techniques are examined.

Data sources: The literature is extensively reviewed (PubMed 1985-2003) with an emphasis on the most recent applications and those that are most useful clinically, both diagnostically and prognostically. Study Selection.-Studies were selected based on statistically significant results in large studies with reported adequate clinical follow-up.

Data extraction: The methodology was reviewed in the selected studies to ensure reliable comparison of reported data.

Data synthesis: Flow cytometric immunophenotyping offers the sensitive detection of antigens for which antibodies may not be available for paraffin immunohistochemical immunophenotyping. However, paraffin immunohistochemical immunophenotyping offers preservation of architecture and evaluation of expression of some proteins, which may not be available by flow cytometric immunophenotyping. These techniques should be used as complimentary tools in diagnostic hematopathology.

Conclusions: There are extensive applications of flow cytometric and immunohistochemical immunophenotyping to diagnostic hematopathology. As cytogenetic and molecular findings evolve in diagnostic hematopathology, there may be additional applications of flow cytometric and immunohistochemical immunophenotyping to this field of pathology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Flow Cytometry*
  • Hematologic Diseases / pathology
  • Hematology / methods*
  • Immunohistochemistry*
  • Immunophenotyping / methods
  • Leukemia / pathology
  • Lymphoma / pathology