Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
 Open access journal indexed with Index Medicus & ISI's SCI  
Users online: 2398  
Home | Subscribe | Feedback | Login 
About Latest Articles Back-Issues Articlesmenu-bullet Search Instructions Online Submission Subscribe Etcetera Contact
 :: Next article
 :: Previous article 
 :: Table of Contents
 ::  Similar in PUBMED
 ::  Search Pubmed for
 ::  Search in Google Scholar for
 ::  Article in PDF (171 KB)
 ::  Citation Manager
 ::  Access Statistics
 ::  Reader Comments
 ::  Email Alert *
 ::  Add to My List *
* Registration required (free) 

  IN THIS Article
 ::  References

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded46    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal


Year : 2010  |  Volume : 56  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 225

Flow cytometric immunophenotyping for the diagnosis of a rare T-LGL neoplasm

1 Hematology Laboratory, University Hospital of Ioannina, Greece
2 Department of Hematology, University Hospital of Ioannina, Greece

Date of Web Publication23-Aug-2010

Correspondence Address:
G Vartholomatos
Hematology Laboratory, University Hospital of Ioannina
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

Rights and PermissionsRights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Vartholomatos G, Benetatos L. Flow cytometric immunophenotyping for the diagnosis of a rare T-LGL neoplasm. J Postgrad Med 2010;56:225

How to cite this URL:
Vartholomatos G, Benetatos L. Flow cytometric immunophenotyping for the diagnosis of a rare T-LGL neoplasm. J Postgrad Med [serial online] 2010 [cited 2023 Jan 28];56:225. Available from:

Flow cytometric immunophenotyping represents an indispensable tool for the diagnosis of hematological malignancies and may assist in the diagnosis and classification of T and NK lymphoid cell neoplasms. [1]

T-cell large granular lymphocytic (T-LGL) leukemia is not an uncommon neoplasm and covers a heterogeneous spectrum of disorders including autoimmune diseases and hematological disorders. [2] T-LGL leukemia is a well-defined malignancy of CD8+ lymphocytes, is equally distributed among males and females with a median age at presentation of 60 years, and a median survival that reaches 10 years. Symptoms and signs include constitutional symptoms, fever and recurrent bacterial infections, splenomegaly, neutropenia and lymphocytosis. [2,3] The T-LGL malignant cell is characterized by the following immunophenotype: CD8 + , CD2 + , cytoplasmic CD3 + , CD5 + , CD7 + , CD57 + , TCRab+ , CD4 - , CD16 - , CD56 - . [3] To date few cases of CD4 + T-LGL leukemia have been described, [3],[4] while co-expression of CD56 antigen is not very frequent, [5] and is associated with an overall poor prognosis. [2]

In this issue of the journal authors of the article "CD4 + /NKa + /CD8 dim+ T-cell large granular lymphocytic leukemia: A rare entity" describe a rare case of a double CD4/CD8 positive patient with abberant expression of the NK cell marker CD56. [6] The patient had a 17-year history of asymptomatic lymphocytosis with a diagnosis of a lymphoproliferative disorder (not further categorized) based on the evaluation of circulating lymphocytes' morphology on a peripheral blood smear. Flow cytometric immunophenotyping performed later, established the diagnosis of a T-cell LGL leukemia with an aberrant phenotype. Although authors did not prove TCRab clonality they concluded that the double CD4/CD8 positivity might be accepted as evidence of clonality. More than the rarity of their case, as very few similar cases have been described, the authors highlight the power of flow cytometry, a rapid and accurate method, in establishing the correct diagnosis of T-cell neoplasms. Again, although the patient presented an aberrant CD56 + phenotype and one could aspect a more aggressive clinical course, it seems that the CD4 positivity "equilibrates" such negative predictive factor.

In conclusion, CD4 + /NKa + /CD8 dim+ remains a rare form of hematological neoplasm, in which the immune system seems to expand itself in order to control the tumor growth, [4] with the CD4 + T-LGL presenting an indolent clinical course despite the presence of CD56 antigen, and a higher incidence of an associated neoplasia. It is well known that flow cytometric studies are indispensable for the diagnosis of mature B-cell lymphoid tumors, but is less used and is a less well-established procedure for the diagnosis of T- and NK-cell lymphoid tumors, often requiring additional information from other sources such as morphologic review of fixed tissues, Fluorescence in Situ Hybridization stains and other studies. [1] However, the use of flow cytometry in T-cell neoplasms is expanding every day with promising results, [7] adding new information to the current knowledge and contributing to the classification of T-cell neoplasms.

 :: References Top

1.Craig FE, Foon KA. Flow cytometric immunophenotyping for hematologic neoplasms. Blood 2008;111:3941-67.  Back to cited text no. 1  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  
2.Rose MG, Berliner M. T-cell large granular lymphocyte leukemia and related disorders. Oncologist 2004;9:247-58.  Back to cited text no. 2      
3.O'Malley DP. T-cell large granular leukemia and related proliferations. Am J Clin Pathol 2007;127:850-9.  Back to cited text no. 3  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  
4.Lima M, Almeida J, Dos Anjos Teixeira M, Alguero Md Mdel C, Santos AH, Balanzategui A, et al. TCRalphabeta+/CD4+ large granular lymphocytosis: a new clonal T-cell lymphoproliferative disorder. Am J Pathol 2003;163:763-71.  Back to cited text no. 4  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  
5.Lundell R, Hartung L, Hill S, Perkins SL, Bahler DW. T-cell large granular lymphocyte leukemias have multiple phenotypic abnormalities involving pan-t-cell antigens and receptors for MHC molecules. Am J Clin Pathol 2005;124:937-46.  Back to cited text no. 5  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  
6.Dadu T, Rangan A, Bhargava M. CD4 + /NKa + /CD8 dim+ T-cell large granular lymphocytic leukemia: A rare entity. J Postgrad Med 2010;56:223-4.  Back to cited text no. 6    Medknow Journal  
7.Benetatos L, Dova L, Baxevanos G, Kolaitis NI, Bourantas KL, Vartholomatos G. Peripheral blood flow cytometry based diagnosis in primary cutaneous aggressive epidermotropic CD8+ T-cell lymphoma: Implications for more extensive use. thCytometry B Clin Cytom 2009;76:102-6.  Back to cited text no. 7      


Print this article  Email this article
Previous article Next article
Online since 12th February '04
2004 - Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
Official Publication of the Staff Society of the Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow