The light microscopic demonstration of hydroperoxidase-positive Phi bodies and rods in leukocytes in acute myeloid leukemia.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Unique fusiform or spindle-shaped particles (Phi bodies) and rods with hydroperoxidase (catalase and/or peroxidase) activity are present in human granulocyte precursors only in acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). These newly recognized particles are much more numerous and prominent than Auer rods. They may be rapidly and readily identified using the microscope in marrow or peripheral blood films when the procedures recommended in this paper for fixation, incubation for hydroperoxidase demonstration in 3,3'-diaminobenzidine (DAB)/H2O2 medium, copper salt treatment and counterstaining (optional) with the Papanicolaou method are employed. Films prepared in the same manner but treated with benzidine/H2O2 medium for myeloperoxidase did not reveal these particles. We believe that Phi bodies are pathognomonic of AML since they are almost invariably present in AML patients with active disease. Their presence serves to distinguish AML from acute lymphocytic leukemia and from chronic granulocytic leukemia in blast crisis. Since the particles disappear in disease remission and reappear upon relapse, the recommended procedure is not only useful in diagnosis but in guiding therapy. When a very rapid diagnosis is needed, it is not necessary to counterstain the preparations, but the nuclei, cytoplasm and plasmalemma can readily be observed in the granulocyte precursors when they are counterstained by the Papanicolaou method. This treatment does not diminish the clarity of the Phi bodies and rods which stain by virtue of their peroxidatic activity. This cytochemical diagnostic procedure should be considered for adoption by hematology laboratories.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hanker, JS; Laszlo, J; Moore, JO

Published Date

  • December 13, 1978

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 58 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 241 - 252

PubMed ID

  • 216654

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0301-5564

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/BF00495380


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Germany