Cytometry B Clin Cytom. 2020 Jul 27. doi: 10.1002/cyto.b.21936. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: The Matutes score (MS) was proposed to differentiate chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) from other B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas (B-NHLs). However, ambiguous immunophenotypes are common and remain a diagnostic challenge. Therefore, we evaluated the diagnostic benefit of measuring CD200 and CD43 expression together with the standard MS antigens.
METHODS: 138 lymphoma patient samples and a validation cohort of 138 additive samples were classified according to the standard MS and further assigned with one or two additional points, for high CD200 and/or CD43 expression levels. The "classical" MS and the "Matutes score-extended" (MS-e) were categorized as high (4-5/6-7), intermediate (2-3/4-5), and low (0-1/0-3). Samples were reclassified into the MS-e with focus on ambiguous cases with an intermediate "classical" MS.
RESULTS: A total of 35 of 138 (25.4%) patient samples were assigned to the intermediate MS group and confirmed by histopathological reports as CLL (14/40.0%) and B-NHLs other than CLL (21/60%). MS-e analysis identified 13 of 14 (92.9%) of CLL cases (MS-e 4-5) and 18/21 (85.7%) non-CLL cases (MS-e ≤ 3) correctly. Overall, the sensitivity of the CLL diagnosis was significantly increased by application of MS-e compared to the "classical" MS (98.8% vs. 82.7%; p = 0.0009), while specificity of both methods was almost equal (94.7% vs. 98.3%; p = 0.4795). Of note, sole measurement of CD43 and CD200 on B-cells sufficiently differentiated CLL from non-CLL with a test accuracy superior to the "classical" MS (F1 score 96.2 vs. 93.6).
CONCLUSION: CD200 and CD43 have a high informative value in diagnostic immunophenotyping and facilitate the separation of CLL from other B-NHLs particularly in ambiguous cases.