Monoclonal IgH gene rearrangement in microdissected nodules from nodular sclerosis Hodgkin disease

Am J Clin Pathol. 1998 Nov;110(5):599-606. doi: 10.1093/ajcp/110.5.599.


Recently, single-cell PCR studies have demonstrated that Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg (HRS) cells are clonally related in many cases of Hodgkin disease. To investigate the lineage and clonality of neoplastic cells in local environments in nodular sclerosis Hodgkin disease (NSHD), we microdissected multiple distinct nodules from patients with NSHD and analyzed them for IgH gene rearrangement by PCR. These results were correlated with immunophenotype, Epstein-Barr-encoded RNA (EBER) expression, and clinical outcome. Forty individual nodules from 10 patients with NSHD (11 specimens) were microdissected from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue. DNA extracts were analyzed for IgH gene rearrangement by using PCR with FRIIIa and JHa primers. Cases were immunophenotyped in paraffin sections with antibodies to CD20(L26), CD79a(HM57), CD45RO(A6), CD15 (Leu-M1), and CD30(Ber-H2). Infection of HRS cells by Epstein-Barr virus was evaluated by using EBER in situ hybridization (EBER-ISH). DNA extracts from 12 of 40 microdissected nodules from 8 of 10 patients demonstrated a monoclonal pattern by IgH-PCR. Three patients demonstrated 2 individual nodules with different monoclonal patterns. One patient demonstrated 2 nodules with bands that appeared similar in size but were found to be different from one another upon further testing. All 28 remaining nodules demonstrated a polyclonal pattern. Six of 10 patients were positive for the Epstein-Barr virus genome by EBER-ISH. No correlation was found between IgH monoclonality, immunophenotypic features, Epstein-Barr virus infection, or clinical outcome. It was concluded that a subset of NSHD cases contain detectable monoclonality within individual nodules by IgH-PCR, suggesting that HRS cells are clonally related within local microenvironments.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biopsy
  • Female
  • Gene Rearrangement*
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / genetics
  • Hodgkin Disease / immunology*
  • Hodgkin Disease / virology
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains / genetics*
  • Lymph Nodes / immunology*
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Male
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Viral / analysis
  • Reed-Sternberg Cells / immunology*
  • Sclerosis


  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains
  • RNA, Viral