A new method was developed for detection of monoclonality at the DNA level in B-lymphoproliferative disease using the polymerase chain reaction and consensus primers for the V and J regions of the immunoglobulin gene. Monoclonality was detected in DNA from 15 of 15 clonal B-lymphoblastoid cell lines and from 19 of 23 cases of B- lymphocyte neoplasia, but not from any of 16 normal T-lymphocyte clones, 9 cases of T-lymphocyte neoplasia, 20 samples of polyclonal peripheral blood lymphocytes, and 8 cases of reactive lymphadenopathy. This method for detection of monoclonality is likely to be of routine value in diagnosis owing to its simplicity, speed, and versatility.

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