Recently, kappa-lambda analysis with the “D” value was developed by Ault to detect a minor population of malignant B cells in peripheral blood. This analysis is based on the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, and the D value is calculated by a flowcytometer and a computer. We have recently devised a more sensitive parameter for the kappa-lambda analysis than the D value called the delta-curve (delta c); the delta c applies the same principle as that of the D value. Mixing experiments with kappa- type and lambda-type chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells revealed that the delta c could not only detect a minor population of malignant kappa- B cells, but also that of malignant lambda-B cells using more sensitivity than the D value. A total of 49 blood samples obtained from 27 patients with various B-cell malignancies were investigated. D values were abnormal in 37% of all samples, while abnormal patterns of the delta c were recognized in 71%. On the other hand, 59% of samples obtained from the patients with B-cell lymphoma in aleukemic phase showed abnormal delta c, whereas D values exceeded the upper limit of the normal value in only 15% of the samples. It was suggested that the delta c could detect 3% to 7% of malignant B cells that were mixed with a population of normal lymphocytes.

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