Karyotype correlates with peripheral blood morphology and immunophenotype in chronic lymphocytic leukemia

William G. Finn*, Maya Thangavelu, Krishna K. Yelavarthi, Charles L. Goolsby, Martin S. Tallman, Ann Traynor, Loann C. Peterson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is recognized as a distinct entity. However, morphologic and immunophenotypic heterogeneity exist. Twenty-six patients with CLL were studied to investigate whether an association exists among peripheral blood karyotype, morphology and immunophenotype. Clonal cytogenetic abnormalities were detected in 14 patients (53%), using conventional karyotyping techniques in addition to fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for chromosome 12. By FAB guidelines, 7 of the 8 patients (88%) with trisomy 12 had mixed cell morphology compared to only 3 of 18 (17%) without trisomy 12 (P = .004). One patient (12%) with trisomy 12 had lymphocyte morphology typical for CLL. Six of the eight (75%) with trisomy 12 had atypical immunophenotype including one or more of the following: strong CD20 expression, strong surface light chain expression, or absence of CD23 expression. Only 2 of the 18 patients (11%) without trisomy 12 had atypical immunophenotype (P = .005). None of the three patients with clonal structural abnormalities of chromosome 13q14 had mixed cell morphology or atypical immunophenotype. One of the 12 patients (8%) without clonal cytogenetic abnormalities had mixed cell morphology, and one had atypical immunophenotype. This study suggests that a correlation exists among karyotype, morphology, and immunophenotype in CLL, and that CLL subgroups can be identified based on laboratory parameters. Although normal karyotypes or clonal structural abnormalities of 13q14 are associated with morphology and immunophenotype considered typical for CLL, trisomy 12 is associated with mixed cell morphology and atypical immunophenotype. These findings may have implications for evaluating variation in both disease course and response to emerging therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)458-467
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of clinical pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1996


  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • Cytogenetics
  • Immunophenotype

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Karyotype correlates with peripheral blood morphology and immunophenotype in chronic lymphocytic leukemia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this