Study objectives: Non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas (NHLs) are
clonal proliferation of B or T lymphocytes. Assessment of clonality in
lymphoid proliferations uses immunochemistry and, recently, molecular
biology. The aim of our study is to assess the role of immunoglobulin
gene rearrangement analysis on bronchoalveolar lymphocytes to aid in
the diagnosis of B-cell pulmonary NHL.
methods: The study took place in a university hospital. There
were seven consecutive patients with B-cell-type pulmonary lymphoma and
nine control subjects. Gene rearrangement analysis using polymerase
chain reaction (PCR) technique was performed on alveolar lymphocytes
recovered by BAL.
Results: Analysis of the
immunoglobulin heavy chain gene rearrangement showed a predominant
clonal alveolar lymphocyte population in six of seven patients while
all control subjects showed germline pattern.
Conclusions: Gene rearrangement analysis by PCR of alveolar
lymphocytes would appear to be sensitive in patients with B-cell
pulmonary NHL (six of seven patients) and specific (zero of nine in the
control group). This simple test should be added only in the analysis
of cells recovered by BAL in patients with suspected primary and
secondary B-cell pulmonary NHL.
Abbreviations: NHL = non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas;
PCR = polymerase chain reaction; TCR = T-cell receptor