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[lwptoc] A specialized process used to analyze proteins that are revealed by cells is the immunophenotyping definition. A test in which specimens of certain parts of the body such as blood or bone are used to find out if there is any malignant lymphocyte present. Lymphocytes are white blood corpuscles (WBC) that play a significant… Read More



A specialized process used to analyze proteins that are revealed by cells is the immunophenotyping definition. A test in which specimens of certain parts of the body such as blood or bone are used to find out if there is any malignant lymphocyte present.

Lymphocytes are white blood corpuscles (WBC) that play a significant defensive role in our body; however, when the number of WBCs increases, it gives rise to leukemia. Also, if the blood level rises to a particular extent at a high level, it can be caused by infection or any inflammation inside the body by WBCs.

Immunophenotyping is a technique that diagnoses antigens in the body with the help of antibodies on the superficial surface of the cell.

Immunophenotyping by Flow Cytometry

Cytometry means the study of properties of cells, their structure, size, etc. using a cytometer. Flow cytometry implies the study of flowing cells in the blood. When the cells are in motion, they can indicate a lot about their properties and allows the researcher to take maximum information out of it.

Immunophenotyping flow cytometry is a technique that provides information not only on cells but on platelets too. Flow cytometry also includes information about dead cells, immature ones, and many others.

Immunophenotyping by flow cytometry requires three hours that involves staining of cells, keeping the cells on the flow cytometer, and then validating the results with the help of skilled technologists.

Flow cytometry has a significant use because it helps to separate the cell population and provides information on cell immunocompetence. A flow cytometer detects not only deficiency results but also other cells present, whether they are immature or dead or any other abnormality.

What is Immunophenotyping?

Immunophenotype is something that tells you about the specificity of protein and its clone, which is necessary to determine the exact disease or disorder and why it is caused in the body. This test recognizes cells at the base of antigens present on the surface of cells.

Just as every lock has a specific key, every antibody detects the antigen type and tries to destroy it. This test is performed in two types, flow cytometry and immunocytochemistry. If it is a fluid suspension, then flow cytometry is preferred. However, if there are cells on the slides, then immunochemistry is preferred.

Also, essential information such as patients’ medical history, clinical signs, and pathology lab results, etc. should be diagnosed first, only then the patient is allowed to go for immunophenotypic testing.

Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) Immunophenotyping also called Immunophenotyping CLL

This is the most familiar type of leukemia in which the malignancy starts in the bone marrow and spreads in the blood. The research on CLL is not fully complete; however, this disorder mainly is caused by a genetic mutation in the DNA of blood cells, and these cells produce aberrant leucocytes.

A person with CLL can live up to 10 years or even less than that depending on the condition of the body. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia starts with leukocytosis and ends with weight loss, loss of appetite, frequent infections, enlarged spleen, etc.

Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) Immunophenotyping

This is the rarest disease of WBCs, here the malignancy of blood and bone marrow occurs with a large number of white cells. Here the myeloid cells obstruct the generation of normal RBCs and WBCs.

The Immunophenotyping test here reveals the appearance of myeloid antigens with anomalous expressions of CD7 and CD19, which are the common ones. In AML, CD7 and CD19 are the proteins that are encoded in the integral membrane of the cell.

Mantle Cell Lymphoma Immunophenotype

Lymphoma means cancer of the lymphatic system that includes the spleen, thymus, lymph nodes, and bone marrow, which is expressed by small to medium-sized cancer cells. Mantle cell lymphoma comes from the malevolent alteration of B lymphocyte cells in the external edge of the lymph node. This disease mostly transpires in middle-aged people or older adults. However, this is rare.

Here, CD45 is the protein marker specifically tyrosine acknowledged to be highly particular for non -Hodgins lymphomas. However, Mantle cell lymphoma is a non- Hodgins lymphoma. This type of lymphoma is mainly diagnosed by biopsy; however, immunophenotyping lymphoma is the initial test in lymphoma.

Burkitt Lymphoma Immunophenotype

This disease was discovered by Parsons Burkitt, an Irish scientist in 1958. Burkitt lymphoma is caused by the Epstein – Barr virus (EBV). It causes a glandular fever that is caused by mononucleosis. Burkitt lymphoma immunotype is a test that reveals the predictable immunophenotype, which is positive for pan – B cell antigens.

Antigens are the foreign bodies responsible for causing harmful effects. However, while testing for this, the CD10 protein marker indicates the clonal surface immunoglobulins. Lymphoma of this type can be fatal if not treated.

In infants, along with prompt treatment, intensive chemotherapy cures Burkitt lymphoma. However, the survival rate of Burkitt lymphoma is 80 – 90%. For treating Burkitt lymphoma, a speciality of haematology and oncology is required. People having RHOH deficiency develop Burkitt lymphoma.

Lymphoma Immunophenotyping

 This is a technique where proteins are detected using 5 to 10 ml of blood in lithium, heparin, or EDTA. This method takes place in mononuclear cells incubated with monoclonal bodies and directed against antigens of lymphocytes.

This technique differs by age, gender, diurnal rhythm, etc. However, for assessing the deficiency states of immune, diagnosis of lymphoid malignancies and lymphocytosis, this process is applied. In immunophenotyping lymphoma, surface markers are used for the indication of aberrant cells.

Two types of lymphocytes can get affected, such as B lymphocyte and T lymphocyte. B- cells support the body to fight against infections. In contrast, T – cells destroy foreign cells accompanied by a virus. Lymphocyte present in the blood is 20 – 40% of WBCs.

Natural Killer – NK Cell Immunophenotype

Natural killer cells are a type of lymphocyte which degenerate the aberrant self-cells. These cells control different types of tumors and infections. However, an increase in NK cells causes the termination of pregnancy in women’s bodies.

NK cells require a signal from another cell in the process of immunophenotyping by flow cytometry, i.e. when NK cells receive the signal from RBC only then they begin to work proteins like MHC – 1 and CD47 are required. However, RBCs are not associated with MHC – 1, but they are linked with CD47, CD47 is the primary identification of NK cells.

T cell Immunophenotype

T cells play a central defensive role in the immune system. There are many types of T – cells such as killer T cells, helper T – cells, regular T – cells, etc.

These cells are defensive, and flow cytometry is the method to determine their immunophenotype. These cells work as antibodies and help us to determine various kinds of cells that can be dangerous to our body.

Immunophenotyping Leukaemia

As we know leukemia is the generation of white blood corpuscles in large numbers in the body, these cells are multiplying very fast and are malignant; they can be fatal if the proper medication is not given. Immunophenotyping definition, in the case of leukaemia, is one of the critical tests to determine the abnormality in a specific part of the tissue.

Leukaemia is of two types, namely chronic and acute. People with acute leukemia get cured after treatment, but people with chronic need stem cell transplantation to get the chances to cure. Initial symptoms of leukemia are shortness of breath, fatigue, bone pain, etc.

Immunophenotyping meaning is mainly assisted with monoclonal antibodies, cell membrane permeabilization, and other methods. During the process of flow cytometry immunophenotyping, as there are various surfaces to detect the antigens, intracellular markers reduce the required number of antibodies and help in recognition of malignant cells.

Some of the analytical markers provide exact information; therefore, they are sufficient to establish a link in both acute and chronic leukaemia and lymphoma. When leukaemia-associated immunophenotypes are identified, they are used for monitoring residual disease, which is minimum in extent during the therapy.


How is Immunophenotyping done?

Immunophenotyping test is done by collecting your blood or bone marrow, which is looked under a microscope to check for the presence of malignant cells.

How much does the test cost?

Immunophenotyping test can cost anywhere between $5 to $50, depending on the type of flow cytometer your test is being conducted, the brand of the device, and where you are pursuing the test.

How long will it take to get results?

The test can take approximately three hours that involves the staining of cells, and the analysis of the cells by an experienced lab executive. You may receive the results in one or two days.

How is blood sample and bone marrow sample taken?

Blood samples for the test are taken by the simple needle withdrawal method by qualified personnel. Similarly, a bone marrow sample is extracted through a syringe attached to a needle.

Why is Immunophenotyping by flow cytometry needed?

The test is done to determine the presence of WBC markers called antigens. The presence of these antigens can be used as a parameter to diagnose various types of cancers.