Consensus guidelines on plasma cell myeloma minimal residual disease analysis and reporting

Maria Arroz, Neil Came, Pei Lin, Weina Chen, Constance Yuan, Anand Lagoo, Mariela Monreal, Ruth de Tute, Jo Anne Vergilio, Andy C. Rawstron, Bruno Paiva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations


Background: Major heterogeneity between laboratories in flow cytometry (FC) minimal residual disease (MRD) testing in multiple myeloma (MM) must be overcome. Cytometry societies such as the International Clinical Cytometry Society and the European Society for Clinical Cell Analysis recognize a strong need to establish minimally acceptable requirements and recommendations to perform such complex testing. Methods: A group of 11 flow cytometrists currently performing FC testing in MM using different instrumentation, panel designs (≥ 6-color) and analysis software compared the procedures between their respective laboratories and reviewed the literature to propose a consensus guideline on flow-MRD analysis and reporting in MM. Results/Conclusion: Consensus guidelines support i) the use of minimum of five initial gating parameters (CD38, CD138, CD45, forward, and sideward light scatter) within the same aliquot for accurate identification of the total plasma cell compartment; ii) the analysis of potentially aberrant phenotypic markers and to report the antigen expression pattern on neoplastic plasma cells as being reduced, normal or increased, when compared to a normal reference plasma cell immunophenotype (obtained using the same instrument and parameters); and iii) the percentage of total bone marrow plasma cells plus the percentages of both normal and neoplastic plasma cells within the total bone marrow plasma cell compartment, and over total bone marrow cells. Consensus guidelines on minimal current and future MRD analyses should target a lower limit of detection of 0.001%, and ideally a limit of quantification of 0.001%, which requires at least 3 × 106 and 5 × 106 bone marrow cells to be measured, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-39
Number of pages9
JournalCytometry Part B - Clinical Cytometry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2016


  • flow cytometry
  • minimal residual disease
  • plasma cell myeloma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology


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