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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 37  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 140-145

Diagnostic value of T-cell receptor γ gene rearrangement in T-cell neoplasms

1 Department of Biochemistry, Damietta Faculty of Science, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt
2 Molecular Hematology Laboratory, Department of Clinical Pathology, Oncology Center, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt
3 Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Eman A. Soliman
Molecular Hematology Laboratory, Department of Clinical Pathology, Oncology Center, Mansoura University, 35516 Mansoura
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.7123/01.EJH.0000415064.50165.48

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The discrimination between reactive and malignant cell populations in some patients with suspected T-cell lymphoproliferative disorders can be complicated and less straightforward. Often, the dilemma lies in determining whether a population of lymphocytes is reactive or neoplastic. In such cases, T-cell receptor (TCR) gene clonality studies have proved useful as an additional diagnostic tool. The TCRγ gene is a preferred target for TCR gene clonality as it is rearranged at an early stage of T lymphoid development, rearranged in a large percent of T-cell neoplasms, and also because of its relative structural simplicity.

Materials and methods

In the present study, we used the BIOMED-2 multiplex primer panel to assess the value of TCRγ gene rearrangement using genescan analysis in 30 patients with suspected T-cell neoplasms and to elucidate its possible role in the diagnosis of such disorders.


TCRγ gene clonality was detected in all 18 patients with suspected T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoblastic lymphoma. In contrast, it was detected in nine out of 12 patients (75%) with suspected peripheral T-cell lymphoma. It is known that TCRγ monoclonality in peripheral T-cell lymphoma can be detected in patients with more aggressive disease in terms of both clinical presentation and laboratory results. VγfI was the most frequently used Vγ segment in our patients. The sensitivity and specificity of genescan were found to be 0.89 and 0.67, respectively, as compared with histopathology.


It is concluded that TCRγ gene clonality is a very useful diagnostic tool in T-cell neoplasms. As it is relatively simple, it can be used as a preliminary test for clonality assessment, followed by the more complex TCRβ gene rearrangement only in negative cases to improve sensitivity. In addition, it should be used together with heteroduplex and interpreted within the clinical context to improve its specificity.

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