High-degree abnormalities of nuclear DNA distribution in SIg negative acute lymphoblastic leukemia with vacuolated blasts

A. Riccardi, C. Montecucco, M. Girino, M. Danova, G. Ucci, R. Invernizzi, G. Ippoliti, G. Mazzini, P. Giordano, F. Pasquali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Among 65 consecutive patients with untreated adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), six had peculiar clinical and cytologic features. Bone marrow and circulating blasts were large and showed prominent vacuolization, with variable degree of granular periodic acid-Schiff positivity in the cytoplasm. All patients had marked spleen and liver enlargement with cholestasis and without either lymph node or central nervous system disease. They achieved complete response to chemotherapy, and their median survival was longer than 12 months. Blast cells were studied for immunologic markers, propidium iodide flow cytofluorometric DNA content, and in vitro tritiated thymidine labeling index (3H-TdR LI). These showed a 'null' phenotype in two cases, contained intracytoplasmic immunoglobulins (Cyμ) in two and were positive for CALL and Ia antigens in two others (one of which also contained Cyμ). Surface immunoglobulins (SIg) were found on less than 12% of cells, and T-cell markers were absent. In five cases, one or two stem lines with highly abnormal modal DNA content were found to coexist with diploid blasts. The 3H-TdR LI was high (8.5%-15.5%). Abnormal cell lines, after being cleared by chemotherapy, were found againg at relapse. Additional cell lines appeared during the course of the disease in one patient, having different sensitivity to cytostatics. These cases of ALL apparently derive from B-cells not yet expressing SIg and have an exceptionally high incidence of aneuploid cell lines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2632-2639
Number of pages8
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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