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International Journal of Pediatrics
Volume 2009, Article ID 674801, 7 pages
Clinical Study

Characterization of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Subtypes in Moroccan Children

1Laboratoire de cytométrie en flux, Institut National d'Hygiène, 10 000 Rabat, Morocco
2Service d'hématologie et oncologie pédiatrique, Hôpital 20 Août, 20 000 Casablanca, Morocco
3Unité d'hémato-oncologie pédiatrique (UHOP), Hôpital d'enfants, 10 000 Rabat, Morocco

Received 9 January 2009; Accepted 27 May 2009

Academic Editor: Eva C. Guinan

Copyright © 2009 Fatima Bachir et al. 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.


We present the incidence and the immunologic characteristics of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) subsets in Moroccan children. We studied 279 unselected patients below the age of 18 years with newly diagnosed ALL. Cases were classified according to immunophenotype: 216 (77.42%) precursor B-cell phenotype (pB-cell), mature B-cell in 4 (1.43%), and T-cell in 59 (21.15%) cases. The age distribution showed a peak in incidence between 3 and 5 years among the pB-cell ALLs subtype. There was a significantly higher frequency of males in the T-ALL subset and more females in the T-ALL CD10+ subset when compared with the T-ALL CD10– subset. Myeloid antigens occur more frequently and were expressed in 124 (57.4%) of pB-cell-ALL cases and 20 (33.9%) of T-cell ALLcases. Our results show that the distribution of ALLs in Moroccan children is similar with the general distribution pattern indeveloped countries except for the high frequency of T-ALL phenotype. The phenotypic profiles of our patients are close to thosereported in literature for B-lineage ALLs; for the T-cell ALL subgroup, the blast cells express more CD1a, surface CD3, and CD4 while expressing less TdT. The high frequency of CD1a expression resulted in an excess of the common thymocyte subtype.