The myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is a clonal hematologic disorder with extremely heterogeneous cell component. Diagnosis is currently depending on the dysplastic morphology of bone marrow cells and the presence of specific cytogenetic abnormalities. Since no specific marker could be identified in MDS, it is sometimes hard to distinguish from other anemias, such as aplastic anemia (AA). The cell immunotype may be helpful in differential diagnosis and predicting the disease progress. To evaluate the clinical usage of immunotyping in MDS patients, we have compared the immunotypes between 36 MDS patients, 18 patients with AA and 11 healthy controls by using flow cytometry. Moreover, in combination with karyotype analysis and prognosis indicator IPSS, the value of immunotyping was further analyzed and discussed.

Our results demonstrated:

  1. In MDS-RA patients, the distribution of surface antigen on BM cells had no preferential difference between lymphoid and myeloid lineages. In RAEB patients, expressions of CD13, CD33 and CD34 were prevailing, significantly higher than others(P<0.05). In contrast, in AA patients, expressions of CD2, CD7, CD19, CD20 were significantly higher than other surface antigens(P<0.05).

  2. In high risk MDS (RAEB/RAEB-t) patients, the cells expressing B cell lineage antigens (CD19,CD20) are markedly less than that in healthy people(P<0.05)while percentage of myeloid lineage antigen (CD13,CD33) are much higher than that in health control(P<0.05), However, in low risk MDS patients (RA) the frequency of expression of all myeloid, T and B lymphoid lineage antigens were not different from that in health controls.

  3. The distribution pattern of these three lineage antigens in high risk MDS patients was remarkably different with those of AA patients(P<0.05).

  4. Comparing with low-risk MDS, high-risk MDS expressed more myeloid lineage antigens (P<0.05)while expressed less B lineage antigens(P<0.05).

  5. In MDS patients, expression of CD14 was correlated with special chromosomal abnormalities defined by IPSS

Our results suggested:

  1. The pattern of immunotype distribution in MDS cells are highly heterogenous.

  2. Expressions of myeloid antigens was predominant in MDS patients.

  3. Immunotyping can be helpful for discriminating MDS from AA and for monitoring the disease progression from low risk to high risk MDS.

  4. Expressions of certain immunotype are correlated with prognosis of MDS.

Disclosure: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

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