What is the role of flow cytometry in the workup of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL)?

Updated: Aug 20, 2020
  • Author: Shipra Gandhi, MBBS; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Flow cytometry to identify the expression of different immunophenotypes helps in determining a clonal cell population and in differentiating between B- and T-cell origins.

Cytogenetic or fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) studies may reveal chromosomal translocations characteristic of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), such as the following:

  • t(3q27) (bcl-6) - Occurs in 35% of patients
  • t(14;18)(q32;q21) (bcl-2) - Occurs in 15-20% of patients
  • t(8;14)(q24;q32) - Occurs in less than 5% of patients

Gene expression profiling may be able to distinguish 2 separate subtypes of DLBCLs (normal germinal center B-cell pattern vs activated B-cell–like), each of which has a different prognosis. In addition, results from gene rearrangement studies can be used to establish clonality. [47, 48]

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