To examine the utility of CD11c expression on monocytes in normal controls and patients with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) (n = 23) with flow cytometric immunophenotyping.
Twenty-three CMML samples and 10 control bone marrows submitted for lymphoma staging without evidence of disease were examined.
Monocytes in CMML samples ranged from 4% to 35%. Expression of at least one aberrant monocytic marker was found on the monocytes in 18 (82%) of 22 evaluable cases. The most common aberrancy was underexpression of CD11c (n = 15), while none of the bone marrow controls showed underexpression of CD11c.
A distinct heterogeneous population of monocytic cells with underexpression of CD11c was identified in all these cases. CD11c underexpression was independent of other aberrancies, including HLA-DR underexpression (n = 14), aberrant CD56 expression (n = 11), and underexpression of CD33, CD38, and CD14 (n = 6, 5, and 5, respectively), supporting the utility of CD11c expression status on monocytes in establishing a CMML diagnosis.