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March 23, 1979

Cytogenetics—An Aid to Histopathology in Malignant Lymphomas

Author Affiliations

Boston University Medical Center Boston

JAMA. 1979;241(12):1227-1228. doi:10.1001/jama.1979.03290380011007

To the Editor.—  Because of their objectivity, cytogenetic studies are a valuable diagnostic aid in leukemias, myeloproliferative syndromes,1 and in suspected malignant effusions2—conditions where diagnosis is cytological, subjective, and often difficult. Malignant lymphomas often present problems of histological diagnosis, but few reports3 describe use of cytogenetics as an aid to histopathology. In two of our patients, malignant lymphoma could not be diagnosed histologically, but the diagnosis was supported by cytogenetic findings; in one case this was borne out by clinical events.

Report of Cases.—  Case 1.—A 71-year-old man had generalized lymphadenopathy; an inguinal node biopsy specimen was diagnosed as histiocytic lymphoma or malignant histiocytosis. The patient was treated for 13 months with an antineoplastic regimen of cyclophosphamide, vincristine sulfate, prednisone (COP). Afterwards he was well for three years, and then generalized mild lymphadenopathy developed. An axillary node biopsy specimen showed follicular and interfollicular hyperplasia, with numerous