What is included in the diagnostic workup for Burkitt lymphoma/Burkitt-like lymphoma (BL/BLL)?

Updated: Dec 20, 2019
  • Author: Ali H Kanbar, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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The least invasive procedure should be used to establish the diagnosis, which usually involves pathologic evaluation of the involved tissue biopsy. The staging workup must be expedited, because Burkitt tumor grows rapidly, causing life-threatening complications.

A diagnosis can sometimes be made by bone marrow aspiration and biopsy if the marrow is involved. If the marrow is not involved, diagnosis will require sampling lymph nodes or the involved extranodal site.

The detection of the classic reciprocal c-myc translocations as well as is not always feasible on routine cytogenetics studies; the use of fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) can be very helpful in detecting the presence of c-myc translocations in those cases. [50]

Flow cytometry of biopsied tissue or bone marrow may reveal expression of surface immunoglobulin M (IgM) (most common), as well as other mature B-cell markers, such as the following:

  • CD19
  • CD20
  • CD22
  • CD79a
  • CD10

In contrast, Tdt, CD5, CD23, and CD34 are negative.

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