Expression of aberrant antigens in hematological malignancies: A single center experience

Aneeta Shahni, Madiha Saud, Saima Siddiqui, Samina Naz Mukry


Background and Objective: Aberrant phenotype is a phenomenon of abnormal expression or loss of expression of cell specific lineage marker not associated with specific cell type. Aberrant phenotype expression due to genetic defects may be associated with unfavorable outcome. It can be used to determine minimal residual disease status. The purpose of the study was to find out the occurrence of aberrant phenotypes in leukemia/lymphoma patients.

Methods: One milliliter peripheral blood or bone marrow samples were analyzed on FACS Calibur flowcytometer. The cells were lysed and stained following standard protocol. Data was acquired and analyzed by CellQuest-Pro software. The Antigenic expression was rated as positive when the percentage of positive blast cells was ≥ 20%. In that manner, aberrant phenotype was considered positive when 20% of blast cells show expression of markers.

Results: Of a total 145 cases analyzed, 26 were acute myeloid leukemia, 71 of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, 48 were of Chronic Lymphoid leukemia on the basis of morphological features and confirmed by flow cytometry. Overall, 19% (28) cases showed aberrant expression of antigens. In 32% (9/28) AML patients, CD5, CD7, CD64dim, CD10, CD117, CD25 and TdT were expressed while in 25% (7/28) ALL patients CD33, CD13, HLA-DR and CD3 were detected. Among chronic leukemia, all aberrant expressions were seen in cases of B-CLL (10/28) only; with CD11c, CD3 and CD10 as the aberrantly expressed markers.

Conclusion: Variability in aberrant phenotype expression was observed in different types of acute and chronic leukemia patients with no prognostic implications on treatment response.


How to cite this:Shahni A, Saud M, Siddiqui S, Mukry SN. Expression of aberrant antigens in hematological malignancies: A single center experience. Pak J Med Sci. 2018;34(2):457-462.   doi:

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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