Multiparameter studies and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) were performed on cells obtained from 135 cases of leukemia in an attempt to clarify whether there was a reliable correlation between surface morphology and cell type as defined by cytochemistry, membrane markers, and transmission electron microscopy. These studies also attempted to determine whether SEM could be used to distinguish lymphoid and nonlymphoid leukemias, to recognize different types of lymphoid leukemia, and to define the cell type involved in cases of unclassified leukemia. The results of this study suggest that there is a good correlation between surface morphology as seen by SEM and cell type identified by multiparameter techniques. In most cases, nonlymphoid leukemic cells could be distinguished from lymphoid leukemic cells on the basis of their surface morphology. SEM did not appear to contribute to the diagnosis of unclassified leukemia, but more cases of this nature must be studied. Despite the fact that acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells frequently showed fewer microvilli than did other lymphoid leukemias, overlap of surface features in about one-third of the cases did not enable SEM to be used as a reliable means of distinction. The above conclusions appear to be supported by preliminary scanning immunoelectron microscopic observations on leukemic cells. It is concluded that SEM is a useful aid to other modes of microscopy in leukemia but should not be used on its own to establish diagnosis.
|Number of pages||9|
|State||Published - 1 Mar 1981|