Test Catalog

Test ID: TBET    
T-Box Expressed in T Cells (TBET) Immunostain, Technical Component Only

Useful For Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Classification of lymphomas

Testing Algorithm Delineates situations when tests are added to the initial order. This includes reflex and additional tests.

Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

The T-box transcription factor, TBET, is a master regulator of Th1 lymphoid development. It is expressed in other hematopoietic cells including stem cells, B cells, and natural killer cells. In normal tonsil, TBET staining is seen in scattered small interfollicular T lymphocytes, with virtually no staining in the germinal centers. It is preferentially positive in T-cell lymphomas with Th1 differentiation, B-cell lymphomas of memory B-cell origin, and both classical and nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin lymphoma.

Interpretation Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

This test includes only technical performance of the stain (no pathologist interpretation is performed). Mayo Clinic cannot provide an interpretation of tech only stains outside the context of a pathology consultation. If an interpretation is needed, refer to PATHC / Pathology Consultation for a full diagnostic evaluation or second opinion of the case. All material associated with the case is required. Additional specific stains may be requested as part of the pathology consultation, and will be performed as necessary at the discretion of the Mayo pathologist.


The positive and negative controls are verified as showing appropriate immunoreactivity and documentation is retained at Mayo Clinic Rochester. If a control tissue is not included on the slide, a scanned image of the relevant quality control tissue is available upon request. Contact 855-516-8404.


Interpretation of this test should be performed in the context of the patient's clinical history and other diagnostic tests by a qualified pathologist.

Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

Age of a cut paraffin section can affect immunoreactivity. Stability thresholds vary widely among published literature and are antigen-dependent. Best practice is for paraffin sections to be cut fresh.

Clinical Reference Recommendations for in-depth reading of a clinical nature

1. Atayar C, Poppema S, Blokzijl T, et al: Expression of the T-cell transcription factors, GATA-3 and T-bet, in the neoplastic cells of Hodgkin lymphomas. Am J Pathol 2005 Jan;166(1):127-134

2. Dorfman DM, Hawang ES, Shahsafaei A, Glimcher LH: T-bet, a T-cell associated transcription factor, is expressed in a subset of B-cell lymphoproliferative disorders. Am J Clin Pathol 2004 Aug;122(2):292-297

3. Dorfman DM, van den Elzen P, Weng AP, et al: Differential expression of T-bet, a T-box transcription factor required for Th1 T-cell development, in peripheral T-cell lymphomas. Am J Clin Pathol 2003 Dec;120(6):866-873