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Br J Haematol. 1995 Sep;91(1):104-8.

Detection of CBFB/MYH11 transcripts in patients with inversion and other abnormalities of chromosome 16 at presentation and remission.

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  • 1University Department of Haematology, Manchester Royal Infirmary.


The pericentric inversion of chromosome 16 [inv(16)(p13q22)] and t(16;16)(p13;q22) are chromosomal rearrangements frequently associated with AML FAB type M4Eo resulting in the production of a fusion gene CBFB/MYH11. We studied 17 patients with a chromosome 16 abnormality (eight M4Eo, two M1, one M2, three M4 without abnormal eosinophils, three MDS) for the presence of CBFB/MYH11 transcripts using an RT-PCR technique. 10 AML patients with inv(16) tested RT-PCR positive (eight at presentation, one in remission, one in remission and relapse). Three of these patients were originally reported by cytogenetic analysis to have del(16q22) but the positive RT-PCR results prompted a cytogenetic re-examination, resulting in the correction of the reports to inv(16). We show that although inv(16) is closely associated with AML M4Eo, it can also be detected in cases of AML M4 without abnormal eosinophils. Three cases of MDS with inv(16) were also RT-PCR positive. Four patients with other chromosome 16 abnormalities were RT-PCR negative. Four AML patients with inv(16) were studied in remission. All were RT-PCR positive, including one patient in remission for 108 months and one 22 months post allogeneic bone marrow transplant. In the latter two remission patients, RT-PCR evaluation was positive in bone marrow (BM) but not in peripheral blood, suggesting that BM may be the more informative. We conclude that this technique is valuable in the accurate molecular classification of AML, particularly as treatment options may be influenced by such information. Though RT-PCR is highly sensitive in detecting CBFB/MYH11 fusion transcripts during remission, monitoring of minimal residual disease in patients with inv(16) remains to be established.

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