Applications of imaging flow cytometry in the diagnostic assessment of acute leukaemia

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50 Citations (Scopus)


Automated imaging flow cytometry integrates flow cytometry with digital microscopy to produce high-resolution digital imaging with quantitative analysis. This enables cell identification based on morphology (cell size, shape), antigen expression, quantification of fluorescence signal intensity and localisation of detected signals (i.e. surface, cytoplasm, nuclear). We describe applications of imaging flow cytometry for the diagnostic assessment of acute leukaemia. These bone marrow malignancies are traditionally diagnosed and classified by cell morphology, phenotype and cytogenetic abnormalities. Traditionally morphology is assessed by light microscopy, phenotyping by conventional flow cytometry and genetics by karyotype and fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) on interphase nuclei/metaphase spreads of cells on slides. Imaging flow cytometry adds a new dimension to the diagnostic assessment of these neoplasms. We describe three specific applications: 1) Assessment of PML bodies in acute promyelocytic leukaemia,2) The nuclear and cytoplasmic localisation of NPM antigen in acute myeloid leukaemia, and,3) The ability to detect cytogenetic abnormalities (i.e. aneuploidy) by automated FISH on intact whole cells in suspension.From this we conclude that imaging flow cytometry offers benefits over conventional diagnostic methods. Specifically the ability to visualise the cells of interest, the pattern and localisation of expressed antigens and assess cytogenetic abnormalities in one integrated automated high-throughput test. Imaging flow cytometry presents a new paradigm for the diagnostic assessment of leukaemia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-45
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


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