Measurable residual disease in adult acute myeloid leukaemia: evaluation of a multidimensional 'radar' flow cytometric plot analysis method

Pathology. 2023 Apr;55(3):383-390. doi: 10.1016/j.pathol.2022.10.007. Epub 2022 Dec 30.


Measurable residual disease (MRD) monitoring in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is becoming increasingly important and is predominantly performed by multiparameter flow cytometry (MFC) or quantitative polymerase chain reactions (RT-qPCR). We investigated the use of multidimensional plots (MD-MFC) for AML MRD monitoring in an adult cohort. AML MRD was determined using a novel MD-MFC method for 115 MRD samples. Results were correlated with traditional two-dimensional MFC (2D-MFC) and molecular methods. Using the standard cut-off of 0.1% CD45+ cells, concordance was 99/115 (p=0.332). Eighty-four of 115 were concordant using a very low reporting limit of 0.01% (p=0.216). MRD <0.1% by either method was present in 40 of 115 samples. Fifteen of 40 were MD-MFC positive and 2D-MFC negative. Of these two of 15 had a molecular MRD marker and both were positive. Molecular MRD markers were available in 36 of 115 cases. Twenty-one of 36 (58%) were concordant with MD-MFC. Eight of 36 had detectable molecular MRD only and eight of 36 had positive MD-MFC only. There was no correlation between either the MFC method and the molecular results. In summary, there is good correlation between MD- and 2D-MFC-MRD and no correlation between the MFC and molecular methods.

Keywords: AML; MRD; molecular MRD; multidimensional flow cytometry; radar plots.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Flow Cytometry / methods
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute* / diagnosis
  • Neoplasm, Residual / diagnosis