Combined polymerase chain reaction approach for clonality detection in lymphoid neoplasms

Diagn Mol Pathol. 1999 Jun;8(2):80-91. doi: 10.1097/00019606-199906000-00004.


The present study analyzes the efficiency of a combination of four immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) gene polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primer systems and a multiplex T-cell receptor gamma chain (TRG) gene PCR for detection of clonality in 409 samples (234 paraffin sections, 175 bone marrow aspirates) of different lymphomas. Using the four IgH PCR systems together, clonality was detected in all samples of B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemias, hairy cell leukemias, common acute lymphoblastic leukemias, and Burkitt-like B-cell lymphomas. Clonality was detected in all bone marrow aspirates with lymphoplasmacytoid immunocytoma, mantle cell lymphoma, marginal zone B-cell lymphoma, and unclassifiable low-grade B-cell lymphomas. The combined IgH gene PCR approach allowed clonality detection in 78.2% of myelomas, 75% of Burkitt lymphomas, 74.4% of diffuse large B-cell lymphomas, 68.7% of follicular center lymphomas, 50% of posttransplant lymphomas, 28.6% of anaplastic large cell lymphomas, 29% of T-cell lymphomas, and 18.8% of Hodgkin diseases. The combination of the four IgH gene primer systems with the multiplex TRG gene PCR allowed detection of clonality in 84.2% of B-cell neoplasms, 92.1% of T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas, and 18.8% of Hodgkin diseases, which was much more efficient than single PCR protocols.

MeSH terms

  • Clone Cells
  • DNA Primers
  • Gene Rearrangement
  • Genes, Immunoglobulin / genetics
  • Genes, T-Cell Receptor gamma / genetics
  • Genetic Markers
  • Humans
  • Leukemia / genetics
  • Leukemia / pathology*
  • Lymphoma / genetics
  • Lymphoma / pathology*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • DNA Primers
  • Genetic Markers