Background: To assess the sensitivity, specificity and turnaround time of flow cytometric analysis on brain biopsies compared to histology plus immunohistochemistry analysis in tumors with clinical suspicion of lymphoma. Methods: All brain biopsies performed between 2010 and 2015 at our institution and analyzed by both immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry were included in this retrospective study. Immunohistochemistry was considered the gold standard. Results: In a total of 77 biopsies from 71 patients, 49 lymphomas were diagnosed by immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry results were concordant in 71 biopsies (92.2%). We found a specificity and sensitivity of flow cytometry of 100% and 87.8%, respectively. The time between the biopsy and reporting the result (turnaround time) was significantly shorter for flow cytometry, compared to immunohistochemistry (median: 1 vs. 5 days). Conclusions: Flow cytometry has a high specificity and can confirm the diagnosis of a lymphoma significantly faster than immunohistochemistry. This allows for rapid initiation of treatment in this highly aggressive tumor. However, since its sensitivity is less than 100%, we recommend to perform histology plus immunohistochemistry in parallel to flow cytometry.

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Cytometry Part B - Clinical Cytometry

van der Meulen, M., Bromberg, J., Lam, K., Dammers, R., Langerak, A., Doorduijn, J., … van der Velden, V. (2018). Flow cytometry shows added value in diagnosing lymphoma in brain biopsies. Cytometry Part B - Clinical Cytometry. doi:10.1002/cyto.b.21641