Detection of free immunoglobulin light chains in cerebrospinal fluids of patients with central nervous system lymphomas.
ABSTRACT Diagnosis of central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma depends on histopathology of brain biopsies, because no reliable disease marker in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) has been identified yet. B-cell lymphomas such as CNS lymphomas are clonally restricted and express either kappa or lambda immunoglobulin light chains. The aim of this study was to find out a potential diagnostic value of free immunoglobulin light chains released into the CSF of CNS lymphoma patients. Kappa (kappa) and lambda (lambda) free immunoglobulin light chains (FLC) were measured in CSF and serum samples collected from 21 patients with primary and secondary CNS lymphomas and 14 control patients with different neurologic disorders. FLC concentrations and ratios were compared between patient groups and were further analyzed in correlation with clinical, cytopathological, and radiological findings. FLC concentrations for all patients were lower in CSF when compared to serum. In patients with CNS lymphoma, the FLC ratios in CSF were higher (range 392-0.3) compared to control patients (range 3.0-0.3). Irrespective of cytopathological proven lymphomatous meningitis, in 11/21 lymphoma CSF samples the FLC ratios were markedly above 3.0 indicating a clonally restricted B-cell population. Increased FLC ratios in CSF were found in those patients showing subependymal lymphoma contact as detected in magnetic resonance imaging. In summary, this is the first report demonstrating that a significant proportion of patients with CNS lymphomas display a markedly increased FLC ratio in the CSF.