Immunohistological light chain analysis was carried out in 55 patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma of B cell origin. Unfixed freeze-dried paraffin sections were used to detect surface Ig and formaldehyde-fixed trypsinised sections to detect cytoplasmic Ig. Cytoplasmic Ig was seen inconstantly in freeze-dried paraffin sections. There was complete agreement with regard to the type of light chain between freeze-dried and formaldehyde-fixed trypsinised sections. Immunohistology showed the monotypic immunoglobulin light chains in 83% of cases when unfixed freeze-dried paraffin sections were used for sIg demonstration while only in 45% of cases when formaldehyde-fixed material was used for cIg detection. The efficiency of sIg demonstration in unfixed freeze-dried paraffin sections was comparable with that based on unfixed cryostat sections or on cell suspensions when the lymphocytic lymphoma/CLL group was excluded from the evaluation. The relatively low frequency of monotypic sIg positivity obtained in this group (12/19) is due to the low density of surface Ig in CLL lymphocytes.
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