Background: The scoring system used for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cannot make an accurate diagnosis in some cases. Novel markers are available for the differential diagnosis of CLL, especially from MCL. However, these markers are still not incorporated into diagnostic algorithms. We investigated the role of CD43, CD81, CD200, and ROR1 in the differential diagnosis of CLL and their expression in non-CLL cases.
Methods: We investigated the role of CD43, CD81, CD20, and ROR1 in the differential diagnosis of CLL by incorporating them into the diagnostic panel after studying peripheral blood or bone marrow samples of 165 patients with 8-color flow cytometry.
Results: CD43 positivity was a sensitive marker but had a lower specificity for CLL. CD43 had high diagnostic value for CLL (sensitivity 100%, specificity 88.5%, AUC 98.0%). CD200 was a specific marker for CLL (sensitivity 98%, specificity 90%, AUC: 96%). CD81 expression was highest in the MCL cases, with a median expression rate of 68.5% (range: 54 - 82.5%). It was negative in all the CLL cases. For CLL, CD81 negativity had a sensitivity of 95%, a specificity of 82% and an AUC of 92%. ROR1 was positive in all CLL and MCL cases. CD79b, on the other hand, was a fairly sensitive and specific marker for MCL.
Conclusions: CD43, CD81, CD200, and ROR1 should be incorporated into diagnostic algorithms for the differential diagnosis of CLL, especially from MCL.