Cytochemistry - bone marrow or blood

Last updated: Thursday, 01, April, 2004

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Bone marrow aspirate and/or 5 mL blood in EDTA.


Appropriate cytochemical methods are selected by the pathologist on the basis of the haematological and clinical features.

Specific cytochemical methods available include acid phosphatase (± tartaric acid), specific and non-specific esterases, periodic acid-Schiff (PAS), Sudan black, myeloperoxidase, lysozyme.
See also Neutrophil alkaline phosphatase.


Differentiation between the various acute leukaemias and between the lymphoproliferative disorders.

InterpretationCytochemistry contributed to the classification of acute leukaemia and lymphoproliferative disorders. However, the use of immunoperoxidase stains and immunophenotyping studies have largely replaced the traditional cytochemistry techniques.
See Cell Immunophenotyping.
ReferenceScott CS ed. Leukaemia Cytochemistry - Principles and Practice. Horwood Ltd 1989.