Comparison of Diagnostic Yield of a FISH Panel Against Conventional Cytogenetic Studies for Hematological Malignancies: A South Indian Referral Laboratory Analysis of 201 Cases

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Cytogenetics, Anand Diagnostic Laboratory, Bangalore, India.

2 Department of Hemato-Oncology, Mazumdar Shaw Cancer Center, Narayana Health Multispecialty Hospital, Bangalore, India.

3 Department of Medical Oncology and Clinical Hematology, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital, Bangalore, India.

4 Department of Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplant, BGS Global Gleneagles Hospitals, Bangalore, India.


Objectives: Genetic markers are crucial fort diagnostic and prognostic investigation of hematological malignancies (HM). The conventional cytogenetic study (CCS) has been the gold standard for more than five decades. However, FISH (Fluorescence in Situ Hybridization) testing has become a popular modality owing to its targeted approach and the ability to detect abnormalities in non-mitotic cells. We here aimed to compare the diagnostic yields of a FISH panel against CCS in HMs. Methods: Samples of bone marrow and peripheral blood for a total of 201 HMs were tested for specific gene rearrangements using multi-target FISH and the results were compared with those from CCS. Results: Exhibited a greater diagnostic yield with a positive result in 39.8% of the cases, as compared to 17.9% of cases detected by CCS. Cases of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) benefited the most by FISH testing, which identified chromosomal aberrations beyond the capacity of CCS. FISH was least beneficial in myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) where the highest concordance with CCS was exhibited. Acute lymphocytic leukaemia (ALL) demonstrated greater benefit with CCS. In addition, we found the following abnormalities to be most prevalent in HMs by FISH panel testing: RUNX1 (21q22) amplification in ALL, deletion of D13S319/LAMP1 (13q14) in CLL, CKS1B (1q21) amplification in multiple myeloma and deletion of EGR1/RPS14 (5q31/5q32) in MDS, consistent with the literature. Conclusions: In conclusion, FISH was found to be advantageous in only a subset of HMs and cannot completely replace CCS. Utilization of the two modalities in conjunction or independently should depend on the indicated HM for an optimal approach to detecting chromosomal aberrations.


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