The clonal origin of two cell populations in Richter's syndrome

Tsieh Sun, Myron Susin, Myles Desner, Robert Pergolizzi, Joanne Cuomo, Prasad Koduru

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A case of Richter's syndrome was studied by morphology, immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry, and immunoglobulin gene rearrangement. Flow cytometric study clearly demonstrated two monoclonal populations. The use of double staining with CD 5/ CD 19 antibodies accompanied by two-color flow cytometric analysis clearly defined the chronic lymphocytic leukemia population and separated it from the lymphoma population. Immunoglobulin heavy-chain gene analysis of blood and lymph node specimens revealed nonidentical as well as identical nongermline bands in these two populations. However, light-chain gene analysis demonstrated that both populations shared a common clonal origin. This result underscores the unreliability of using heavy chain genotype alone to identify clonal origin. Since post-rearrangement deletion, point mutation, and heavy chain switching occur in heavy chain genes, but are seldom seen in light chain genes, it is important to analyze both heavy and light chain genes to conclusively determine clonal origin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)722-728
Number of pages7
JournalHuman Pathology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1990


  • Richter's syndrome
  • chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • gene rearrangement
  • large cell lymphoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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