• CD44;
  • myelodysplastic syndromes;
  • myelopoiesis;
  • flow cytometry;
  • bone marrow


We investigated the possibility that myeloid cells from the bone marrow (BM) of myelodysplastic patients differ in their expression of CD44 antigen compared with expression of the antigen in normal controls. In addition, two triple-surface marker assays incorporating, respectively, CD44/CD33/CD66 and CD33/CD34/HLA-DR were used to evaluate the degree of myeloid maturation and assess the number of blasts in BM by flow cytometry. Patients with early-stage myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS; RA [FAB classification]) have significantly decreased expression of CD44 on gated myeloid cells. In contrast, patients with late-stage MDS (RAEB and RAEB-T [FAB classification]) showed an elevated expression of CD44 and an increased number of CD34 blasts compared with early-stage MDS patients and normal controls. Late-stage MDS patients also had an increase in the immature myeloid compartment (CD66 weak expression) compared with early-stage MDS patients and normal controls. We have already included this assay as part of our MDS evaluation protocol alongside BM morphology and cytogenetics. Cytometry (Clin. Cytometry) 50:225–230, 2002. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.