Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Cancer

pp 2005-2025

Leukemia Diagnostics

  • Wolfgang KernAffiliated withMLL Munich Leukemia Laboratory Email author 
  • , Torsten HaferlachAffiliated withMLL Munich Leukemia Laboratory
  • , Claudia HaferlachAffiliated withMLL Munich Leukemia Laboratory
  • , Susanne SchnittgerAffiliated withMLL Munich Leukemia Laboratory


Leukemia diagnostics comprises the combined application of different methodologies in a standardized fashion, allowing the precise diagnosis, subclassification, and determination of prognostic parameters.



The diagnosis of leukemias today is based on a comprehensive approach applying a variety of different methods in combination. While cytomorphology and cytochemistry have been the mainstay of diagnostics for decades and have been used to differentiate between acute myeloid leukemia (AML), acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), the current up-to-date approach includes immunophenotypin​g/​Multiparameter flow cytometry (MFC) as well as cytogenetics and molecular genetics to correctly diagnose and subclassify leukemias.

Multiparameter flow cytometry (MFC) is used for immunophenotyping of the leukemic cells which is essential particu ...

This is an excerpt from the content