The cytomorphology and immunophenotype of mantle-cell lymphoma

Authors: D. Starostka 1;  D. Koláček 1;  P. Mikula 1;  M. Tichý 2,3
Authors‘ workplace: Oddělení klinické hematologie, Nemocnice s poliklinikou Havířov, p. o. 1;  Ústav klinické a molekulární patologie, Lékařská fakulta UP v Olomouci 2;  CGB laboratoř, a. s. 3
Published in: Transfuze Hematol. dnes,21, 2015, No. 4, p. 173-183.
Category: Comprehensive Reports, Original Papers, Case Reports



Mantle-cell lymphoma (MCL) is a rare lymphoid neoplasm of B-cell origin characterized by over-expres-sion of cyclin D1 and it is usually associated with the chromosomal translocation t(11; 14). MCL may exhibit classical morphology or one of 4 morphological variants (small-cell, pleomorphic, blastoid and marginal zone lymphoma-like). The immunophenotype is characterized by the high expression of pan-B-cell markers - CD19, CD20, CD22, CD79, surface membrane immunoglobulins IgM, IgD including their light chains and CD5 antigen. The intranuclear expres-sion of cyclin D1 is specific for MCL. The surface membrane marker FMC7 is usually positive; CD43, CD38, bcl-2 and transcription factor SOX11 are regularly positive as well. The antigens CD23, CD10, CD11c, CD103, CD200 and bcl-6 are typically negative in MCL.

16 cases of newly diagnosed MCL were included in the study (samples included peripheral blood, bone marrow, lymph nodes and cerebrospinal fluid). The cytomorphology evaluation was done on samples of peripheral blood and bone marrow smears, lymph node imprints and cerebrospinal fluid cytospins using classical panoptic staining. This determined the cytomorphological subtype of MCL. The immunophenotype was then detected by flow cytometric analysis using the FACS Canto II flow cytometer (manufactured by Becton-Dickinson). Multiparameter analysis of surface membrane antigen expression included detecting positivity or negativity of CD19, CD20, CD22, CD79b, surface membrane light chains kappa and lambda, CD23, FMC7, CD5, CD10, CD25, CD35, CD38, CD11c, CD103 and CD200; the signal intensity of each CD marker expression (mean fluorescence intensity, MFI) was also measured by using a diagnostic panel of monoclonal antibodies.

The study included 11 men and 5 women with a median age of 70 years. Cytomorphological features included 7 cases of classic MCL and 9 cases of variant types (4 small-cell, 3 pleomorphic, 1 blastoid, 1 „marginal zone lymphoma-like” form). Surface membrane cell markers CD19, CD20, CD22 and CD79b were constantly positive with high expression (the highest being CD20). Surface membrane light chains kappa and lambda expression were observed alternately in one half the cases (with prevalent lambda light chain intensity expression). The expression of CD5 was mostly high; two cases were CD5-negative. FMC7 was positive in 10 cases with variable expression of intensity. Variable expression of CD25 was observed and CD35 was positive in three-quarters of all patients, CD38 was positive in the majority of cases (high intensity of expression). CD23, CD11c and CD103 were negative, CD43 was also mostly negative. One CD10 positive case and two CD200 positive cases were found in our study. The variability of expression intensity was common even for CD markers with the highest intensity of expression.

Assessment of the immunocytological profile is one of the main components of MCL diagnosis. The cytomorphological and immunophenotypical variability of MCL is high. Accurate differential diagnosis of MCL, chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, marginal zone lymphoma and some cases of B-prolymphocytic leukaemia is necessary. The immunophenotypical panel used in our study is appropriate to diagnose most MCL cases.

Key words:
mantle-cell lymphoma, cytology, immunophenotype


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