BACKGROUND: Immunophenotyping has replaced cytochemical staining as the preferred technique for classifying acute leukemia. However, some acute myeloid leukemias (AML) lack lineage-associated markers. In our experience, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is expressed in immature canine monocytes. We hypothesized that ALP is a useful marker for monocytic AML.
OBJECTIVES: The objective was to compare ALP expression in neoplastic cells from dogs with lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), acute lymphoid leukemia (ALL), and AML.
METHODS: Alkaline phosphatase results were retrieved from medical records of dogs with acute leukemia. Smears from dogs with lymphoma or leukemia were also prospectively stained for ALP activity. CLL was based on persistent lymphocytosis (10 × 109 /L) and acute leukemia on ≥ 20% blasts in blood or bone marrow. ALL was classified based on positive phenotyping for T- or B-lymphocyte antigens, and AML on positive phenotyping for CD11b, CD11c or CD14, or cytochemical staining for chloroacetate esterase, Sudan Black B, or myeloperoxidase.
RESULTS: There was no ALP activity in all 49 lymphomas and 7 CLLs. Weak ALP activity was seen in 31% of 14 ALL (all T-ALL). ALP activity was seen in all 20 AML (P < .001 vs ALL) with strong activity in 64% (vs 25% ALL) in most neoplastic cells (median 75% vs 9% ALL, P = .020). Of AML, 80% were CD34+ (vs 39% ALL, P = .027) and 100% were MHCII- (vs 43% ALL, P = .002).
CONCLUSIONS: ALP activity may be useful for AML confirmation in dogs, particularly if neoplastic cells only express CD34+ on immunophenotyping.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/deanna_schaefer/2/