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Am J Clin Pathol. 1997 Sep;108(3):295-301.

Clinical utility of heteroduplex analysis of TCR gamma gene rearrangements in the diagnosis of T-cell lymphoproliferative disorders.

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  • 1Division of Laboratory Medicine, British Columbia Cancer Agency and the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


We conducted this study to assess the clinical utility of heteroduplex analysis of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) products for Tgamma gene rearrangements in the diagnosis of T-cell lymphoproliferative disorders (LPDs) using a single set of consensus primers. This method was used to study 103 cases using fresh or frozen tissue. These included 62 cases of T-cell LPDs, 25 cases of B-cell LPDs, 3 cases of anaplastic large cell lymphomas of undefined lineage, and 13 cases of reactive disorders. The latter group served as the negative control group. For all cases of T-cell LPDs, the results of Tbeta Southern analysis (SA) and heteroduplex PCR analysis were compared. We also studied 10 cases of postthymic T-cell lymphoma using paraffin-embedded tissue. Heteroduplex Tgamma PCR was positive in 51 (89%) of 57 cases that were rearranged by Tbeta SA. Eight of the 10 cases of T-cell lymphoma analyzed using paraffin-embedded tissue were positive. There were no false-positive results. These results demonstrate that this method is an effective screening test in the clinical laboratory. A positive result obviates the need to perform SA. Preliminary results suggest this method is useful using paraffin-embedded tissue.

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