Current Hematologic Malignancy Reports

, Volume 13, Issue 6, pp 455–466 | Cite as

Minimal/Measurable Residual Disease Detection in Acute Leukemias by Multiparameter Flow Cytometry

  • Franklin Fuda
  • Weina ChenEmail author
Molecular Testing and Diagnostics (J Khoury, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Molecular Testing and Diagnostics


Purpose of Review

Minimal or measurable residual disease (MRD) detected by multiparameter flow cytometry (MFC) is an independent prognostic indicator in acute leukemia. However, the predictive value of MFC MRD is affected by technical challenges, interpretive complexities, and inadequate standardization, particularly in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Here, we critically review the methodological principles of the MFC MRD assay and discuss clinical implications of MRD.

Recent Findings

Key components of MFC MRD assays to be discussed include the principles of MFC, panel selection, analysis approaches, level of quantifiable MRD and calculation, reporting, and areas of improvements. Key components of clinical implications include context-dependent detection threshold and the integral role of MRD assessment by MFC in the era of ever-expanding molecular testing.


With advancements in technology and standardization, MFC along with molecular assays will continue to play an important role in MRD assessment to evaluate treatment response and risk stratification.


Acute myeloid leukemia Lymphoblastic leukemia Minimal residual disease detection Measurable residual disease detection Immunophenotype Multiparameter flow cytometry Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction Next-generation sequencing 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PathologyUniversity of Texas Southwestern Medical CenterDallasUSA

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