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Am J Hematol. 1991 Nov;38(3):189-93.

Detection of immunoglobulin gene rearrangement in acute and chronic lymphoid leukemias of B-cell lineage by polymerase chain reaction gene amplification.

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Department of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital.


Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to amplify the DNA fragments of the complementarity determining region 3 of the immunoglobulin (Ig) gene heavy chain from the leukemic cell specimens of patients with acute and chronic lymphoid leukemias of B-cell lineage. Two different pairs of primers were tested. Fourteen of the 17 (82%) cases of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), and all 15 cases (100%) of B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia, who had rearrangement of the Ig gene heavy chain by Southern analysis, were positive by PCR with either one or both pairs of primers. This technique was able to detect leukemic cells at the level of 0.1%. Applying it to study the remission marrow specimens following induction chemotherapy was more useful than morphology alone in predicting early relapse of the leukemia.

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