In Côte d’Ivoire, acute leukemias account for 12.5% of hematological malignancies. Acute leukemias are due to an anomaly of the stem cell characterized among other things by the expression of CD34+ CD38- surface markers. This CD34+ CD38- phenotype as well as other factors such as tumor syndrome, high leukocytosis and blasts are considered as important factors of poor prognosis. We therefore proposed to investigate the prognostic value of the expression of CD34+ CD38- markers in acute leukemias in Abidjan.
We selected 23 patients aged 33 years on whom we performed Complete Blood Count, bone marrow aspiration and immunophenotyping. To search for myeloperoxydase, smears of blood or bone marrow were stained with benzidine and revealed by the use of Hydrogen peroxide. Acute leukemias were then identified and distributed using the score proposed by the European Group for the Immunological characterization of Leukemias. The definitive diagnosis was made by combining morphological characters that serve as the basis for the French-American-British classification as well as cytochemical and immunophenotypic characters.
According to the cytological and immunophenotypic classifications, the acute lymphoid leukemia 2 and B IV predominated. 52.2% (12/33) of patients were CD34+ CD38-. This phenotype was found in almost all cytological immunophenotypic types. The medullary invasion by blasts (reflection of the tumor mass) of the total sample of CD34+ , CD34+ CD38- patients and those not expressing CD34+ was respectively 79.4%, 81.25%, 83.3% and 74.8%.
There was therefore no correlation between medullary blasts and the expression of CD34+ CD38-. To the factors we selected it would have been necessary to associate the study ofcytogenetic and molecular anomalies to better understand the role of CD34+ CD38- phenotype, concerning prognosis.