Background: HIV-1 infection is associated with various quantitative and qualitative changes in haemopoietic cells. Clear distinction between primary myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and secondary dysplasia may not always be possible. Adjunctive analyses used in the diagnosis of MDS include cytogenetics and flow cytometry (FCM). Much focus has been placed on establishing FCM guidelines aiding in the diagnosis of MDS, and to distinguish this condition from secondary dysplastic changes. One of the parameters often cited is the CD10 expression on the granulocyte population, as this marker denotes granulocytic maturation.
Aims: To determine the expression level of CD10 on granulocytes in HIV positive patients.
Methods: In total, 117 HIV-1 positive and 29 HIV-1 negative patients were included in this study. Bone marrow aspirate samples were evaluated in terms of morphological abnormality as well as CD10 expression on the granulocytic population.
Results: The average CD10 expression among the HIV-1 positive patients were markedly reduced, at 18.4%, and 113 patients (96.6%) of these patients had expression levels below 50%.
Discussion: Disease conditions causing secondary dysplasia, especially HIV-1 infection, is associated with a marked reduction in CD10 expression on the granulocyte population independent from the presence of myelodysplastic features. This marker is therefore of doubtful significance as a diagnostic tool in distinguishing between primary and secondary dysplasia.