Flow cytometric immunophenotyping has been used to identify neoplastic plasma cell populations in patients with multiple myeloma (MM). Previous reports have described the use of several antigens, including CD38, CD138, CD56, CD117, CD52, CD19 and CD45, to distinguish distinct populations of plasma cells. The aim of this study was to evaluate a simplified immunophenotyping panel for MM analysis.
A total of 70 patients were enrolled in the study, 62 of which were newly diagnosed with MM (untreated), whereas the remaining 8 were undergoing bone marrow assessment as part of follow-up after treatment (treated). Treated cases included 3 patients with relapse and 5 patients with persistence of MM. Multiparametric flow cytometric immunophenotyping was performed using monoclonal antibodies against CD56, CD19, CD138 (CD38), and CD45.
In differential counts, plasma cells in bone marrow (BM) accounted for 3.6-93.2% of the total nucleated cell count. The positive expression rates of CD56, CD19, CD138, and CD45 in neoplastic myeloma cells were 83.9%, 0%, 98.4%, and 37.1%, respectively, among the 62 untreated cases, and 75.0%, 0%, 87.5%, and 37.5%, respectively, among the 8 treated cases. CD19 expression of neoplastic plasma cells was negative in both untreated and treated cases.
The simplified immunophenotyping panel, CD56/CD19/CD138(CD38)/CD45, is useful for distinguishing neoplastic myeloma cells from reactive plasma cells in clinical practice. In addition, CD19 represents the most valuable antigen for identifying neoplastic myeloma cells in patients with MM.