Scanning electron microscopy has shown a typical cell surface morphology in hairy cell leukemia. Scanning immunoelectron microscope techniques, utilizing monoclonal antibodies and colloidal gold particles, have recently become available. Eight patients with hairy cell leukemia have been studied with a panel of monoclonal antibodies of which Bl, BA1, OKM1, anti-TAC and LeuM5 were shown to be suitable for scanning immunoelectron microscopy and reactive with hairy cells. The combination of typical cell surface features with reactivity for the Bl and LeuM5 monoclonal antibodies permits accurate diagnosis of hairy cell leukemia, particularly when low percentages of hairy cells are present as in hypocellular or in interferon-treated patients

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