Analysis of clonal immunoglobulin heavy chain rearrangements in ocular lymphoma

Joachim M. Baehring, Sofia Androudi, Janina J. Longtine, Rebecca A. Betensky, Jeffrey Sklar, C. Stephen Foster, Fred H. Hochberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND. The morphologic diagnosis of primary and metastatic intraocular lymphoma (IOL) was made difficult by the paucicellular specimens with fragile populations of lymphocytes retrieved through pars plana vitrectomy (PPV). The analysis of immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) gene rearrangements (AIGHR) was used as an adjunct to cytopathology and flow cytometry in systemic lymphoma. In IOL, the sensitivity and specificity of AIGHR are unknown. METHODS. The authors reviewed the clinical records of patients who underwent PPV for suspicion of IOL at the Immunology and Uveitis Service of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (Boston, MA) between 2000 and 2002. AIGHR was performed as a routine diagnostic test on cell lysates isolated from < 0.5 mL of vitreous fluid. The authors used seminested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with consensus primers for the VDJ-region of the IgH gene. PCR products were analyzed by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. RESULTS. Thirty patients (37 specimens) with chronic vitritis and 17 patients (23 specimens) with IOL were included. The specificity of vitreous fluid cytopathology, flow cytometry, and AIGHR was 1.0, and the sensitivity values were 0.24, 0.36, and 0.64, respectively. AIGHR was negative in two patients for whom cytopathology or flow cytometry revealed the diagnosis of lymphoma. Clonal IGHR was found in four specimens classified as negative for lymphoma based on cytopathology and flow cytometry. CONCLUSIONS. AIGHR supplemented cytopathology and flow cytometry to increase the diagnostic yield in IOL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)591-597
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2005


  • Chronic vitritis
  • Immunoglobulin G heavy chain gene rearrangement
  • Intraocular lymphoma
  • Primary central nervous system lymphoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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