Rapid diagnosis of clonal immunoglobulin heavy chain gene rearrangements in cutaneous B-cell lymphomas using the lightcycler-polymerase chain reaction with DNA melting curve analysis

Dongsheng Xu, Juan Du, Hideko Kamino, Howard Ratech

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


We have recently developed a novel Immunoglobulin heavy chain gene rearrangement (IgH-R) assay that combines polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification and analysis in the same closed capillary tube using the LightCycler System. IgH-R can be identified by DNA melting curve analysis within 40 minutes after DNA preparation and amplification. To test the clinical utility of this new IgH-R assay for rapidly diagnosing cutaneous B-cell lymphomas, we prospectively analyzed 44 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues suspected of B-cell malignant lymphoma: skin (n = 31), lymph node (n = 7), stomach (n = 3), spleen (n = 1), colon (n = 1), and soft tissue (n = 1). We detected IgH-R in 12 DNA samples, including 8 skin biopsies, with the following diagnoses: B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (n = 4), extranodal marginal zone B-cell lymphoma (n = 4), diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (n = 2), Burkitt lymphoma (n = 1), and precursor B-lymphoblastic lymphoma (n = 1). DNA melting curve analysis, compared with polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, achieved a sensitivity equal to 92.3% and a specificity equal to 100%. There was a single false negative result because DNA melting curve analysis could not detect less than 10.0% clonal B-cells. We conclude that this new, rapid PCR assay for detecting IgH-R based on DNA melting curve analysis can be clinically useful for confirming the initial diagnosis of B-cell malignant lymphoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-389
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Dermatopathology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2004



  • Cutaneous B-cell lymphoma
  • DNA melting curve
  • Immunoglobulin heavy chain gene rearrangement
  • Lightcycler
  • Polymerase chain reaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Dermatology

Cite this