Distribution of the cytogenetic abnormality +i(3)(q10) in persistent polyclonal B-cell lymphocytosis: a FICTION study in three cases


Dr Evelyne Callet-Bauchu Unité d'Hématologie Cellulaire, Laboratoire Central d'Hématologie, Centre Hospitalier Lyon Sud, 69495 Pierre-Bénite Cedex, France.


Persistent polyclonal B-cell lymphocytosis (PPBL) is a rare entity characterized by a moderate but sustained lymphocytosis where some binucleated or bilobulated circulating forms constitute, even if they are not entirely specific, the cytological hallmark of the disease. An additional chromosome long arm i(3)(q10) has recently been reported as a recurrent cytogenetic aberration, contrasting with a usual polyclonal immunoglobulin expression. To determine more precisely the distribution of the chromosomal abnormality within the peripheral lymphocyte population and study the relationship between the +i(3)(q10) and the bilobulated character, we investigated three new cases of PPBL displaying the cytogenetic abnormality on the karyotype, using a technique of simultaneous fluorescence immunophenotyping and interphase cytogenetics (FICTION). We demonstrated that the +i(3)(q10) was restricted to the B lymphocytes, independently of the κ or λ light chain isotype and was present in both bilobulated and non-bilobulated cells. Therefore it is likely that the cytogenetic abnormality occurs at an early stage of lymphocyte differentiation in a precursor cell already committed to the B-cell lineage, before any rearrangement of immunoglobulin genes has taken place.