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Histopathology. 2012 Apr;60(5):768-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2559.2011.04135.x. Epub 2012 Feb 1.

Improved clonality detection in Hodgkin lymphoma using the BIOMED-2-based heavy and kappa chain assay: a paraffin-embedded tissue study.

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Department of Pathology, Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol, Badalona, Catalonia, Spain.



Although BIOMED-2 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) standardization protocols allow clonality detection in nearly 100% of non-Hodgkin B cell lymphomas, they have not been widely validated for Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). Our aim was to assess BIOMED-2 protocol sensitivity when using non-microdissected, formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue from HL cases.


We studied 69 consecutive HL cases, of which 61 corresponded to classic HL (cHL) and eight to nodular lymphocyte-predominant HL (NLPHL). CD30-positive cell numbers (<10, 10-25 or >25 per ×200 field), background CD20-positive cell density (low or high) and tumour cell immunophenotype were evaluated. IGH and IGK clonality was assessed on FFPE tissue following BIOMED-2 protocols. Of the 58 assessable cHL cases, 15 (25.9%) exhibited IGH and/or IGK clonality; IGH clonality was shown by nine (15.5%) and IGK clonality by 12 (20.7%). Clonality detection rates in cHL improved as CD30-positive Reed-Sternberg (RS) cell density increased and CD20-positive B cell density decreased, although these correlations did not reach statistical significance. Of the eight NLPHL cases studied, none showed clonal rearrangement.


Combined study of IGH and IGK rearrangement according to BIOMED-2 protocols improves clonality detection rate (up to 25% of cases) in HL, even when working on non-microdissected FFPE tissue.

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