Identification of early B cell precursors (stage 1 and 2 hematogones) in the peripheral blood

Jason H. Kurzer, Olga K. Weinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Differentiating malignant B-lymphoblasts from early benign B cell precursors (hematogones) is a vital component of the diagnosis of B-lymphoblastic leukaemia. It has been previously reported that only late-stage B cell precursors circulate in the peripheral blood. Consequently, flow cytometric detection of cells with immunophenotypic findings similar to earlier stage precursors in the peripheral blood justifiably raises concern for involvement by B-lymphoblastic leukaemia. We report here, however, that benign early B cell precursors can indeed be detected in the peripheral blood, thus complicating the interpretation of flow cytometric findings derived from these sample types. A retrospective search of our collective databases identified 13 cases containing circulating early stage B cell precursors. The patients ranged in age from 15 days to 85 years old. All positive cases demonstrated that the earlier B cell precursors were associated with later stage precursors, a finding that could help differentiate these cells from B-lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)845-850
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of clinical pathology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • flow cytometry
  • hematopathology
  • leukaemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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