What is the role of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay in the workup of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL)?

Updated: Aug 15, 2018
  • Author: Lauren C Pinter-Brown, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Consider obtaining polymerase chain reaction (PCR), Southern blot testing of the blood, or both if detecting a circulating clone of malignant cells in the blood will change medical management. Ideally, the abnormal clonal T-cell gene rearrangement detected in the blood should match that found in the skin. However, T-cell gene rearrangement by itself will not allow the physician to make a diagnosis of mycosis fungoides or Sézary syndrome. Disorders that are considered benign (eg, lymphomatoid papulosis) can have T-cell gene rearrangement.

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