This slide shows the peripheral smear of a patient with ALL stained for alpha-naphthyl acetate esterase (nonspecific esterase). The lymphoblast in the center shows a single dot of staining that some workers believe characterizes T-lymphocytes. Most lymphoblasts do not contain stainable amounts of this esterase, nor do they contain myeloperoxidase, an enzyme consistently identified in myeloblasts. Some lymphoblasts show heavy blocks of color when stained with the periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) method, but this reaction does not occur in the majority of ALL cases. In summary, lymphoblasts tend to give negative reactions when exposed to a variety of stains.
Course Section: 07. Lymphocytic Leukemia: Acute and Chronic
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