Distribution of subtypes and immunophenotypic characterization of 1379 cases of paediatric acute leukaemia

  • Saba Jamal The Indus hospital
  • Fatima Meraj The Indus hospital
  • Neelum Mansoor The Indus hospital https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1650-0694
  • Sadia Parveen The Indus hospital
  • Ameerah Shaikh Ziauddin University Hospital
  • Naeem Jabbar The Indus hospital
Keywords: Paediatric acute leukemia, Immunophenotyping, Phenotypic aberrant markers, Flowcytometry


Objectives: Acute leukaemia is the most common and highly curable childhood malignancy; subtyping and identification of antigens via immunophenotyping helps in treatment plan as well as minimal residual disease monitoring.

Methods: This retrospective study was conducted at the Haematology section of the clinical laboratories of Ziauddin University Hospital and The Indus Hospital, Karachi conducted at January 1st, 2012 to December 31st, 2017. The study included 1379 cases of de novo acute leukemia from 2012 to 2017. Among these, 80% were diagnosed by using four color flowcytometry (FACS Calibur), 9% and 11% via immunohistochemistry on bone marrow trephine biopsy samples and morphological examination respectively.

Results: The mean age of patients was 7.4 ± 4.3 years while male to female ratio was 1.75:1. Lymphoblastic leukaemia accounted for 77.2% and myeloid leukaemia 21.2%. Amongst lymphoblastic lineage, B-ALL was 80.4% while T-ALL was 19.6%. Among the phenotypic expression of B-ALL, CD79a (99.8%) had the highest positivity. In B-ALL, CD13 (29.8%) was the most common aberrant myeloid marker. Aberrant expression of CD79a observed in 11.1% of T-ALL cases. In non APL AML, aberrant expression of CD79a and CD19 was observed in 6.6% and 5.5% of cases respectively.

Conclusion: Overall immunophenotypic profile, expression of aberrant phenotypes and subtype distribution in our patients was similar to international literature except for a relatively high frequency of T-ALL which was discordant from the western data.

doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.37.3.3552

How to cite this:
Jamal S, Meraj F, Mansoor N, Parveen S, Shaikh A, Jabbar N. Distribution of subtypes and immunophenotypic characterization of 1379 cases of paediatric acute leukaemia. Pak J Med Sci. 2021;37(3):805-811.  doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.37.3.3552

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

How to Cite
Jamal, S., Meraj, F., Mansoor, N., Parveen, S., Shaikh, A., & Jabbar, N. (2021). Distribution of subtypes and immunophenotypic characterization of 1379 cases of paediatric acute leukaemia. Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences, 37(3). https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.37.3.3552
Original Articles