Polymerase chain reaction-based detection of b-cell monoclonality in cytologic specimens
Polymerase Chain Reaction
Thirty-seven cytologic cell blocks were evaluated for B-cell monoclonality by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), 16 of them cytologically positive for lymphoma, and 21 suspicious for lymphoma but morphologically nondiagnostic. Of 37 specimens, 13 (35%) showed B-cell monoclonality, including six of 16 cytologically positive samples and seven of 21 cytologically suspicious ones. Of these 13 positive samples, seven were positive using crude lysates as substrates, and six additional positive samples were identified only when DNAs were purified and concentrated. Analysis of the DNAs further revealed poor polymerase chain reaction amplifiability and low DNA yield in many samples, indicating that cell block materials are suboptimal for this assay. We concluded that B-cell monoclonality can be detected in ethanol-fixed cytologic samples, and usage of unembedded material will likely improve the sensitivity. In specimens cytologically suspicious for lymphoma, polymerase chain reaction-based identification of monoclonal B-cell population supports the diagnosis of B-cell lymphoma and is a potentially useful test in solving this diagnostic dilemma.