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FISH Is Superior to PCR in Detecting t(14;18)(q32;q21)–IgH/bcl-2 in Follicular Lymphoma Using Paraffin-Embedded Tissue Samples

Richard R. Einerson MT(ASCP), Paul J. Kurtin MD, Gerald A. Dayharsh MD, Teresa K. Kimlinger, Ellen D. Remstein MD
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1309/BLH8MMK85UBQ4K6R 421-429 First published online: 1 September 2005


Detection of t(14;18)(q32;q21)–IgH/bcl-2, which is present in 70% to 95% of follicular lymphomas (FLs), might aid in diagnosing FL. The efficacy of routine polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) techniques in detecting t(14;18) in paraffin-embedded tissue samples was compared on 5 normal tonsils and 28 FLs demonstrated to be t(14;18)+ by previous karyotyping. There was technical failure in 14 (50%) of the FLs by PCR, likely due to B-5 fixation, and 4 (14%) of FLs by FISH, likely due to advanced specimen age. In the remaining successful cases, 5 (36%) of 14 were positive by PCR and 24 (100%) of 24 were positive by FISH. All 5 normal tonsils were negative by both methods. FISH is superior to PCR for detecting t(14;18) from paraffin-embedded tissue samples because it is more sensitive and equally specific.

Key Words:
  • Follicular lymphoma
  • t(14;18)(q32;q21)
  • Polymerase chain reaction
  • PCR
  • Fluorescence in situ hybridization
  • FISH
  • IgH/bcl-2
  • Paraffin-embedded tissue