Stains & CD markers

Last author update: 1 January 2014
Last staff update: 7 November 2023 (update in progress)

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PubMed Search: CD15

Related topics: CD15s, CD15u

Nat Pernick, M.D.
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Cite this page: Pernick N. CD15. website. Accessed November 29th, 2023.
Definition / general
  • A carbohydrate (not a protein) widely used for diagnosis of Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Also known as LeuM1, Lewis X, 3-fucosyl-N-acetyl-lactosamine
  • Mediates phagocytosis and chemotaxis
  • Synthesis is directed by FUT4 (OMIM #104230) in lymphoid cells and mature granulocytes, and by FUT9 (OMIM #606865) in promyelocytes and monocytes
  • References: Quality control for CD15
Clinical features
Uses by pathologists
  • Hodgkin lymphoma: membranous, diffuse cytoplasmic or Golgi staining of Reed-Sternberg cells; CD15 staining is used to confirm diagnosis, or to differentiate Hodgkin lymphoma (CD15+) from anaplastic large cell lymphoma (usually CD15-)
  • Granulocyte marker
Case reports
Microscopic (histologic) images

Contributed by Raghava Munivenkatappa, M.D. (Case #48) and AFIP

Paranuclear / Golgi staining pattern

Nodular lymphocyte predominant

Renal cell carcinoma: papillary type

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Small intestine: normal Paneth cells (fig B)

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Colon: invasive colorectal carcinoma

Positive staining - normal
  • Myeloid cells and eosinophils; activated B and T cells (including infectious mononucleosis); variable monocytes and basophils
  • Kidney proximal convoluted tubules; small intestine Paneth cells (J Clin Pathol 1996;49:474)
Positive staining - disease
Negative staining
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