Morphological, immunophenotypic, and genetic analyses were carried out on peripheral blood, bone marrow, and pharyngeal biopsy material from a patient with chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia (CMML). Morphological analysis of bone marrow was diagnostic of CMML; immunophenotypic analysis of peripheral blood and bone marrow were negative for B and T cell antigens, and immunochemistry performed on the pharyngeal extramedullary infiltrate showed the presence of large monocytoid cells which stained positively for muramidase. Genotypic analysis, however, showed clonal rearrangement of the T cell receptor (TCR) delta chain gene, a marker of T cell or, less commonly, B cell lymphoid neoplasms. Other TCR genes, beta and gamma, were germline in all tissues examined. TCR delta is rearranged in precursor B cell and most T lymphoid neoplasms. A small proportion of cases (10%) of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) also show rearrangement of the TCR delta gene. To date TCR delta rearrangement has not been described in CMML. The aberrant TCR delta rearrangement shown in this patient with CMML provides further evidence of the clonal nature of this disorder.
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