The flow cytometry myeloid progenitor count: A reproducible parameter for diagnosis and prognosis of myelodysplastic syndromes

Ulrika Johansson*, Neil McIver-Brown, Matthew Cullen, Carolien Duetz, Alan Dunlop, Uta Oelschlägel, Katherina Psarra, Dolores Subirá, Theresia M. Westers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: The bone marrow blast count is central to the diagnosis and monitoring of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). It is an independent risk factor for worse prognosis whether based on the morphology blast count or the flow cytometry (FC) myeloid progenitor (MyP) count. It is a principal population in FC MDS analysis also because once defined; it provides significant contributions to the overall FC MDS score. Methods: We elected to investigate inter-analyst agreement for the most fundamental parameter of the FC MDS diagnostic score: the MyP count. A common gating strategy was agreed and used by seven cytometrists for blind analysis of 34 routine bone marrows sent for MDS work-up. Additionally, we compared the results with a computational approach. Results: Concordance was excellent: Intraclass correlation was 0.993 whether measuring %MyP of total cells or CD45+ cells, and no significant difference was observed between files from different centers or for samples with abnormal MyP phenotypes. Computational and manual results were similar. Applying the common strategy to individual laboratories' control cohorts produced similar MyP reference ranges across centers. Conclusion: The FC MyP count offers a reliable diagnostic and prognostic measurement in MDS. The use of manual and computational approaches side by side may allow for optimizing both strategies. Considering its known prognostic power, the MyP count could be considered a useful and reliable addition to existing prognostic scoring systems.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCytometry Part B - Clinical Cytometry
Early online date2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021

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