Acute Basophilic Leukemia Lacking Basophil-Specific Antigens: The Importance of Cytokine Receptor Expression in Differential Diagnosis
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De novo acute basophilic leukemia (ABL) is a rare form of myeloid leukemia. The low prevalence of ABL makes it difficult to define its clinical characteristics and to establish an effective therapeutic protocol. We present here a case of de novo ABL in a 64-year-old Japanese man. The diagnosis of ABL depended on the following: (1) metachromasia with toluidine blue stain, (2) intracytoplasmic theta granules identified by electron microscopy, and (3) findings obtained from extensive immunophenotypic analysis. Although blast cells lacked basophil-specific antigens such as CDw17, CD88, and FcεRI, an expression profile of cytokine receptors including CD116 (GM-CSF receptor), CD117 (c-kit), and CD123 (IL-3 receptor α) helped to define the cellular lineage in our case. The patient achieved complete remission with intensive chemotherapy composed of idarubicin and cytosine arabinoside and was disease free during the following 30 months. We propose that immunophenotyping, especially focusing on cytokine receptors, is useful in diagnosing ABL.
Key wordsAcute basophilic leukemia CD116 CD117 CD123 Chemotherapy
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