Flow Cytometric Evaluation of Traditional and Novel Surface Markers for the Diagnosis of Plasma Cell Dyscrasias

  • Dominik F. DraxlerEmail author
  • Lisa M. Wutzlhofer
  • Georg Slavka
  • Wolfgang Hübl
  • Heinz Ludwig
  • Martin Schreder
  • John Reynolds
  • Martin Willheim
Original Article


Increasing interest has been expressed for flow cytometric immunophenotyping for diagnosis and monitoring in plasma cell dyscrasias over the last decades. The aim of this investigation was to compare the expression strength of various cell surface markers used traditionally or currently under investigation on normal and abnormal PC populations. We enrolled 295 consecutive patients undergoing bone marrow aspiration in the workup of monoclonal gammopathies, selecting 54 normal and 241 abnormal PC populations via flow cytometry to characterize the expression of CD45, CD38, CD138, CD19, CD56, CD20, CD27, CD28, CD81, CD117 and CD200 on the cell surface of PCs. We observed significant differences in the expression strength of all assessed markers between normal and abnormal PC populations in all markers except for CD20. While none of them was conclusive on its own, the combination of CD81 positivity and CD117 negativity was present in 98.1% of normal PC populations tested. In contrast, particularly CD117 positivity, but also CD81 negativity was indicative of an abnormal PC phenotype. Our results highlight the descriptive value of CD81 and CD117 for the allocation of bone marrow PCs to a normal or abnormal phenotype.


Multiple myeloma Plasma cell dyscrasias Plasma cells FACS Flow cytometry 



Monoclonal antibodies


Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance


Plasma cell

NK cell

Natural killer cell


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare they have no conflict of interest with respect to the present manuscript.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

12288_2019_1105_MOESM1_ESM.docx (22 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 21 kb)


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Copyright information

© Indian Society of Hematology and Blood Transfusion 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ZentrallaborWilhelminenspital der Stadt WienViennaAustria
  2. 2.I. Medizinische Abteilung, Zentrum für Onkologie, Hämatologie und PalliativmedizinWilhelminenspital der Stadt WienViennaAustria
  3. 3.Department of Epidemiology and Preventive MedicineMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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