In two cases of suspected myxoid liposarcoma, where chromosomal metaphase preparations were not available, fluorescence in situ hybridisation was performed on interphase nuclei of cytological preparations for the detection of the specific translocation, t(12;16), characteristic of this tumour and of trisomy 8, which is the most frequent secondary chromosome aberration. Probes directed against chromosomes 12 and 16 and against the centromeres of chromosomes 12 and 8 were hybridised on cell brushings and cytocentrifuge preparations. The finding of three painting domains of both chromosomes 12 and 16 and of only two signals with the centromeric probe directed against chromosome 12, suggested the presence of t(12;16) in both cases. In one case trisomy 8 was inferred from the occurrence of three centromere 8 signals. This approach can be used to detect specific chromosomal abnormalities when an urgent differential diagnosis is requested or when chromosome preparations are not available, or both.
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