Flow cytometry (FC) is increasingly recognized as an important tool in the diagnosis and prognosis of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). However, validation of current assays and agreement upon the techniques are prerequisites for its widespread acceptance and application in clinical practice. Therefore, a working group was initiated (Amsterdam, 2008) to discuss and propose standards for FC in MDS. In 2009 and 2010, representatives from 23, mainly European, institutes participated in the second and third European LeukemiaNet (ELN) MDS workshops. In the present report, minimal requirements to analyze dysplasia are refined. The proposed core markers should enable a categorization of FC results in cytopenic patients as normal, suggestive of, or diagnostic of MDS. An FC report should include a description of validated FC abnormalities such as aberrant marker expression on myeloid progenitors and, furthermore, dysgranulopoiesis and/or dysmonocytopoiesis, if at least two abnormalities are evidenced. The working group is dedicated to initiate further studies to establish robust diagnostic and prognostic FC panels in MDS. An ultimate goal is to refine and improve diagnosis and prognostic scoring systems. Finally, the working group stresses that FC should be part of an integrated diagnosis rather than a separate technique.

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doi.org/10.1038/leu.2012.30, hdl.handle.net/1765/68797
Department of Immunology

Westers, T., Ireland, R., Kern, W., Alhan, C., Balleisen, J. S., Bettelheim, P., … van de Loosdrecht, A. (2012). Standardization of flow cytometry in myelodysplastic syndromes: A report from an international consortium and the European LeukemiaNet Working Group. Leukemia, 26(7), 1730–1741. doi:10.1038/leu.2012.30