Fine-needle aspiration biopsy and flow cytometry immunophenotyping of lymphoid and myeloproliferative disorders of the spleen

Pio Zeppa, Marco Picardi, Gilda Marino, Giancarlo Troncone, Franco Fulciniti, Antonio Vetrani, Bruno Rotoli, Lucio Palombini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND. Flow cytometry (FC) is a useful adjunct to fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) in the evaluation of lymphoproliferative disorders. The application of FC to FNAB of the spleen (sFNAB) is reported. METHODS. Flow cytometry was performed on 18 sFNAB collected over 3 years. The series comprised 10 cases of non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL), 2 cases insufficient for diagnosis, 2 cases of reactive hyperplasia (RH), and 4 cases of myeloid metaplasia (MM). FNAB was performed under ultrasound guidance using a 22-gauge needle. One or two passes were sufficient to prepare a conventional smear that was immediately evaluated to select the cases studied and to prepare a cell suspension for FC. The following fluoresceinated antibodies were used: CD3, CD19/κ/λ, FMC7/CD23/CD19, Bcl-2, and CD13/HLA-DR. In six cases, cytospins were also prepared for immunocytochemistry and were tested for CD20 (L26), CD45Ro, and κ and λ light chain expression. RESULTS. Flow cytometry contributed to the diagnosis of all cases of NHL by assessing light chain restriction. The specific subtype was also diagnosed by CD19/CD5 and CD 19/CD10 coexpression in two cases. Flow cytometry quantified the percentage of myeloid cells in MM cases and contributed to the cytologic diagnosis showing a polyclonal light chain expression in RH cases.. Immunocytochemistry was effective and concordant in four cases. Patients tolerated the sFNAB well and no complications were reported. Cytologic and FC diagnoses were confirmed by follow-up and by histologic evaluation in cases in which splenectomy was performed for therapeutic purposes. CONCLUSION. Flow cytometry applied to sFNAB corroborates the cytologic diagnosis in lymphoid and myeloproliferative disorders of the spleen and allows therapeutic decisions avoiding splenectomy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-127
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 25 2003


  • Fine-needle aspiration biopsy
  • Flow cytometry
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Spleen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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