Anti-CD34 immunoperoxidase staining in paraffin sections of acute leukemia: Comparison with flow cytometric immunophenotyping

Curtis A. Hanson, Charles W. Ross, Bertram Schnitzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Anti-CD34 is a monoclonal antibody that reacts with bone marrow progenitor cells and leukemic blasts, and is expressed on 30% to 50% of all acute leukemias. Detection of CD34 has previously been restricted to flow cytometric studies. To expand the utility of CD34, we immunostained 46 paraffin-embedded bone marrow specimens with acute leukemia; results were compared with flow cytometric studies. CD34 reactivity was also evaluated in nine chronic leukemia cases, 27 malignant lymphoma cases (Hodgkin's disease and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma), six normal bone marrow specimens, and three benign, hyperplastic lymph node specimens. All cases that were CD34 positive by flow cytometry (11 of 19 B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia cases, one of six T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia cases, and seven of 21 acute myeloblastic leukemia cases) were also CD34 positive in paraffin sections. Both cell membrane and cytoplasmic staining was seen. The positivity percentage and fluorescence intensity by flow cytometry correlated with the estimated number of stained cells and the intensity of immunoperoxidase staining in 18 of 19 CD34-positive cases. The remaining bone marrow and lymph node cases studied were CD34 negative; prominent endothelial cell staining, however, was noted. This is the first report of anti-CD34 staining of acute leukemia in paraffin-embedded sections. In contrast to other monoclonal anti-bodies reactive in bone marrow paraffin sections with leukemia, anti-CD34 immunoperoxidase staining is limited to leukemic blasts and may provide useful diagnostic information when flow cytometric studies are not available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-32
Number of pages7
JournalHuman Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1992


  • CD34
  • acute leukemia
  • flow cytometry
  • immunoperoxidase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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