Characterization of tissue findings in bone marrow biopsy specimens with small monoclonal B-cell populations

Beverly P. Nelson*, Anmaar Abdul-Nabi, Charles Goolsby, Jane Winter, Lo Ann Peterson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objectives: Bone marrows (BMs) with incidentally identified, small monotypic B-cell populations (MBPs) were evaluated. Methods: BM aspirates with MBPs representing 5% or less of total events by flow cytometry, less than 5.0 × 109/L B cells in blood, and no history of lymphoma or MBP with a different phenotype from prior lymphoma were selected. Clinical, immunophenotypic, and histologic findings were evaluated. Results: Forty-one of 3,052 BMs had MBPs at 5% or less of total events (median, 1%); 17 were females and 24 were males aged 30 to 87 years (median, 73 years). The MBPs were CD5- in 24, CD5+ resembling chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in 13, and CD5+ unlike CLL in four. Eighteen of 40 had lymphoid aggregates (LAs) with mostly T cells or a mixture of B and T cells, but three cases had B-cell-rich LAs. Conclusions: Unlike monoclonal B lymphocytosis in blood, MBPs in BMs were more commonly CD5-. Forty-five percent of BMs had LAs; none were interpreted as lymphoma, although three were suspicious for B-cell lymphoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)687-696
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of clinical pathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2014


  • Flow cytometry
  • Hematopathology
  • Immunopathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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