Orbital marginal zone lymphomas: an immunohistochemical, polymerase chain reaction, and fluorescence in situ hybridization study

Ginette Schiby, Sylvie Polak-Charcon, Corine Mardoukh, Kinneret Rosenblatt, Iris Goldberg, Abraham Kneller, Mordechai Rosner, Juri Kopolovic

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Many studies have been performed on chromosomal aberrations of extranodal marginal zone lymphomas. However, only a few have been published so far on ocular adnexal marginal zone lymphomas. We studied 18 cases of orbital lymphoid cell infiltrates. Using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), we studied some of the most common chromosomal aberrations found in extranodal marginal zone lymphomas as: trisomies 3, and rearrangements of the 18q21 MALTI gene to detect the translocations t(11;18)(q21;q21) and t(14;18)(q32;q21)MALT1. Our goals were as follows: (1) study those aberrations in our material and compare them with the literature, (2) check their prognostic significance, and (3) check whether studying those aberrations with FISH can be used as a diagnostic tool to differentiate reactive from neoplastic infiltrates, in addition to immunohistochemistry and polymerase chain reaction. We found a high frequency of trisomies 3 (68%) and 18 (56.6%), the highest published so far in orbital lymphomas. On the other hand, no rearrangement was seen in any of our cases. The histologic picture and the clinical course were the same when there was one or more aberrations. As for the diagnostic significance, the presence of a prior, concurrent, or subsequent lymphoma in almost all the positive for aberrations cases suggests that either the orbital infiltrates in these cases are lymphomas, or they have, at least, a malignant potential or a genetic instability. Therefore, the demonstration of these numerical aberrations by FISH may be an additional sensitive, reliable, and relatively simple tool to differentiate reactive from neoplastic orbital lymphoid cell infiltrates when the immunohistochemistry and polymerase chain reaction, performed in a busy and routine-based histopathology laboratory, are unsatisfactory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-442
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2007


  • Chromosomal aberrations
  • FISH
  • Numerical
  • Ocular adnexa
  • Structural


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