Normative data for flow cytometry immunophenotyping of benign lymph nodes sampled by surgical biopsy

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Abstract

Aims

To create clinically relevant normative flow cytometry data for understudied benign lymph nodes and characterise outliers.

Methods

Clinical, histological and flow cytometry data were collected and distributions summarised for 380 benign lymph node excisional biopsies. Outliers for kappa:lambda light chain ratio, CD10:CD19 coexpression, CD5:CD19 coexpression, CD4:CD8 ratios and CD7 loss were summarised for histological pattern, concomitant diseases and follow-up course.

Results

We generated the largest data set of benign lymph node immunophenotypes by an order of magnitude. B and T cell antigen outliers often had background immunosuppression or inflammatory disease but did not subsequently develop lymphoma.

Conclusions

Diagnostic immunophenotyping data from benign lymph nodes provide normative ranges for clinical use. Outliers raising suspicion for B or T cell lymphoma are not infrequent (26% of benign lymph nodes). Caution is indicated when interpreting outliers in the absence of excisional biopsy or clinical history, particularly in patients with concomitant immunosuppression or inflammatory disease.

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