John Libbey Eurotext

European Journal of Dermatology


Sensitivity and specificity of T-cell receptor PCR BIOMED-2 clonality analysis for the diagnosis of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma Volume 30, numéro 1, January-February 2020


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1 Department of Dermatology, University Hospital Zurich, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
2 Department of Dermatology, Kepler University Hospital, Linz, Austria
3 Institute of Statistics and Econometrics, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria
4 Department of Dermatology, Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) and the Faculty of Biology and Medicine, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
* Reprints
a These authors contributed equally.

Background: Early and precise diagnosis of cutaneous T-cell lymphomas (CTCL) is challenging. Currently, polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based clonality assessment of the T-cell receptor (TCR) is a helpful tool for this diagnosis. Objectives: In this retrospective study, we aimed to assess the sensitivity and specificity of this method for the diagnosis of CTCL. Materials and Methods: Monoclonal rearrangement of the TCR was investigated retrospectively by PCR-based clonality assessment based on 292 DNA samples from skin biopsies of patients with a suspicion of CTCL. Algorithms were based on different ratios (three or five-fold difference) between the dominant PCR peak and the third highest PCR peak. Results: A PCR peak five-fold higher than the third highest PCR peak demonstrated significantly greater specificity (83.7% versus 76.4%) but lower sensitivity (59.8% versus 68.6%) compared to a cut-off of three-fold higher. Conclusion: Our results confirm the diagnostic value of TCR clonality analysis which may be used to define the ideal cut-off in order to optimize sensitivity and specificity.