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Disease Markers
Volume 16 (2000), Issue 3-4, Pages 131-133

Contribution of Flow Cytometry to Acute Leukemia Classification in Tunisia

S. Feki,1 H. El Omri,2 M. A. Laatiri,2 S. Ennabli,2 K. Boukef,1 and F. Jenhani1

1Laboratoire d’Immunologie Cellulaire, Centre National de Transfusion Sanguine, Tunis, Tunisia
2Service d’Hématologie Clinique, Hôpital Farhat Hached, Sousse, Tunisia

Received 14 April 2000; Accepted 11 May 2000

Copyright © 2000 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The precision of immunological characterization of leukemias was improved by a certain number of technical innovations, particularly hybridoma production and standardization, resulting in monoclonal antibodies and definition of recognised cellular antigens (designated by CD: Cluster of Differentiation).

The aim of this work was to determine the immunophenotyping profile of patients with leukemia, by means of a flow cytometric method: 66 blood samples coming from leukemic persons in the Sahel region were studied by flow cytometry, using about thirty monoclonal antibodies all marked with a fluorochrome, in one or two colour systems to assess their distribution according to type (lymphoid B or T / myeloid) and age, and to search for possible co-expressions of markers of different lineages.

The marked preponderance of childhood B-ALL in our series is, at least partly, attributable to the age distribution of the Tunisian population. In agreement with studies from other countries, the majority of AML cases occurred among adults. A high proportion of AML cases in our series co-expressed markers of other lineages. Overall, accurate classification of acute leukemias was possible from a simple peripheral blood sample in 62 of 66 cases (93.9%).