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Contribution of immunophenotype to the investigation and differential diagnosis of Burkitt lymphoma, double-hit high-grade B-cell lymphoma, and single-hit MYC-rearranged diffuse large B-cell lymphoma

Lymphoma
04/06/2020

Tsagarakis NJ, et al. Cytometry B Clin Cytom 2020.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There are no immunophenotypic guidelines for the investigation of MYC-rearranged lymphomas. We aimed to identify simple immunophenotypic features that would help to differentiate between MYC-rearranged lymphomas and guide cytogenetic analysis.

METHODS: We reviewed diagnostic samples from patients diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma (BL), double-hit lymphoma (DHL), MYC-rearranged diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (MYC-DLBCL), and standard (non-MYC-rearranged) DLBCL over the last decade in our Institution. Using flow cytometry (with antibodies CD20, CD10, CD38, bcl-2, Ki-67, FMC-7, CD43, CD27, CD79b, CD23, and CD22) we determined antigen% expression and median-fluorescence intensity ratios (MFIR). The forward scatter (FS) and side scatter (SS) characteristics of tumor B-cells were compared with normal T-cells (B/T ratios) for patients with MYC-rearranged lymphomas.

RESULTS: We identified 51 patients of whom 14 had BL, 10 had DHL (6 MYC+/BCL2+; 4 MYC+/BCL6+), 8 MYC-DLBCL, and 19 standard DLBCL. The significant differences (p <.05) were: higher CD38% in BL than standard DLBCL; higher CD10% in BL and DHL versus MYC-DLBCL and standard DLBCL; higher CD10MFIR in BL than MYC-DLBCL and standard DLBCL; higher Ki-67% in BL than DHL and MYC-DLBCL; higher bcl-2% in DHL than BL; higher FMC-7% in BL than MYC-DLBCL and standard DLBCL; and lower SS (B/T) ratio in DHL than MYC-DLBCL.

CONCLUSIONS: The combination of CD38% > 90, CD10% > 80, CD10MFIR > 10, bcl-2% < 30, and Ki-67% > 70 was characteristic of BL. "Deviation" from these cut-offs should raise suspicion for DHL and, therefore, BCL2 and/or BCL6 FISH is required. We also found that a diagnosis of DHL rather than of MYC-DLBCL was significantly associated with CD10% > 60, Ki-67% > 50, and SS (B/T) <1.5.