A comparison of qPCR and ddPCR used for quantification of the JAK2 V617F allele burden in Ph negative MPNs

Dorota Link-Lenczowska, Niels Pallisgaard, Sabrina Cordua, Magdalena Zawada, Sylwia Czekalska, Dorota Krochmalczyk, Zuzanna Kanduła, Tomasz Sacha*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


Philadelphia-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) are a diverse group of diseases whose common feature is the presence of V617F mutation of the JAK2 gene. In the era of novel therapeutic strategies in MPNs, such as JAK-inhibitor therapy, there is a growing need for establishing high sensitive quantitative methods, which can be useful not only at diagnosis but also for monitoring therapeutic outcomes, such as minimal residual disease (MRD). In this study, we compared the qPCR and ddPCR methods and their clinical utility for diagnosis, prognostication, and treatment monitoring of MPNs with JAK2 V617F mutation in 63 MPN patients of which 6 were subjected to ruxolitinib treatment. We show a high conformance between the two methods (correlation coefficient r = 0.998 (p < 0.0001)). Our experiments revealed high analytical sensitivity for both tests, suggesting that they are capable of detecting the JAK2 V617F mutation at diagnosis of MPN with a limit of detection (LoD) of 0.12% for qPCR and 0.01% for ddPCR. The alterations of JAK2 V617F allele burden in patients treated with ruxolitinib were measured by both methods with equal accuracy. The results suggest an advantage of ddPCR in monitoring MRD because of allele burdens below the LoD of qPCR. Overall, the clinical utility of qPCR and ddPCR is very high, and both methods could be recommended for the routine detection of the V617F mutation at diagnosis, though ddPCR will probably supersede qPCR in the future due to cost-effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of Hematology
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)2299-2308
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • ddPCR
  • JAK-inhibitor
  • Limit of detection
  • Minimal residual disease
  • Myeloproliferative neoplasms
  • qPCR

Cite this