Value of flow cytometric analysis of peripheral blood samples in children diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia

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Diagnostic procedures in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) are typically performed under general anesthesia. Anticipation of the diagnosis based on findings in peripheral blood allows scheduling of the first dose of intrathecal chemotherapy and diagnostic bone marrow (BM) aspirate during a single anesthetic. We retrospectively compared paired results of peripheral blood (PB) flow cytometric analysis and BM evaluation in 383 children with ALL diagnosed consecutively at a single center and found very high concordance of results between both tests. We conclude that PB flow cytometry may help streamline planning of procedure-related anesthetics during diagnosis and early treatment of childhood ALL.

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