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Hodgkin Lymphoma : Molecular Findings

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Classic Hodgkin Lymphoma - Molecular Findings: When PCR analysis of microdissected Reed-Sternberg (RS) cells is done, clonal rearrangement of immunoglobulin heavy chain gene is found in > 95% of cases of classic Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL). There is, however, no expression of most B-cell-specific genes, including the immunoglobulin genes. Rare cases of cHL are derived from T-cells and show clonally rearranged T-cell receptor genes.

Molecular techniques play only a minor role in the final diagnosis of cHL. Since RS cells make up only about 1% or less of all the cells in the biopsy material, the use of PCR with consensus primers or Southern Blot analysis is rarely successful. If a strong clonal band is seen with PCR or Southern Blot assay suggesting a major clonal B-cell or T-cell population, it is more likely to be a non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

The image shows several classic RS cells as well as Hodgkin cells (mononucleated) from a case of nodular sclerosis cHL.

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