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Ann Diagn Pathol. 1999 Oct;3(5):318-27.

Paraffin immunohistochemistry as an adjunct to hematopathology.

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  • 1Department of Hematopathology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, DC 20306-6000, USA.

Erratum in

  • Ann Diagn Pathol 1999 Dec;3(6):394.


In the past two decades, there have been a number of dramatic advances in immunology that have subsequently affected immunohistochemistry. These have had a substantial impact on all phases of laboratory medicine, especially surgical pathology. Many hospital laboratories use immunohistochemical analysis on paraffin-embedded tissue sections as routinely as other special histochemical techniques. Hematopathology, in particular, has become increasingly reliant on the immunohistochemical antibody technique. This method aids in the identification of lineage-associated or lineage-restricted antigens in hematolymphoid neoplasms. The demonstration of kappa or lambda light-chain restriction is a good indicator of monoclonality in B-cell processes, aiding in the distinction between benign reactive hyperplasia and malignant lymphoma. Increasing numbers of antibodies that react to cluster differentiation cell surface antigens have become available for use in paraffin-embedded sections, obviating the need for frozen tissue in many cases. This facilitates the collection, processing, shipping, and storage of tissue specimens for immunohistochemical studies. This report will discuss the basic concepts in the immunohistochemical technique and show its applicability to hematopathology. It will also describe the most relevant antigens/antibodies and how they are used in antibody panels for the diagnosis of benign and malignant hematolymphoid lesions.

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