What is the role of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in the workup of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)?

Updated: Jul 17, 2018
  • Author: Karen Seiter, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

Studies for bcr-abl analysis by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or cytogenetics may help distinguish patients with Philadelphia chromosome–positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ ALL) from those with the lymphoid blastic phase of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). Most patients with Ph+ ALL have the p190 type of bcr-abl, whereas patients with lymphoid blastic CML have the p210 type of bcr-abl.


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