Immunophenotype

The immunophenotype of most cases of CLL allows ready distinction from other malignancies of mature B cells using only a limited panel of antibodies. The coexpression of CD5 and CD23 in the presence of low-level expression of CD20 and sIg is diagnostic (Table 22.1). CD23-negative CLL is rare and has been associated with a poor prognosis; whether it harbours specific genetic abnormalities is not yet known.

A more comprehensive analysis of the CLL cell surface has been performed assessing expression of a variety of other cell surface molecules in order to differentiate possible prognostic subgroups.18 All B-CLLs express the phenotype of activated B cells with overexpression of the activation markers CD23, CD25, CD69,

Table 22.1

The immunophenotype and functions of some of the molecules associated with CLL

CD antigen

Expression in lymphoid cells

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