Chromosomal aneuploidy in leukemic blast crisis: A potential source of error in interpretation of bone marrow engraftment analysis by VNTR amplification

Ming Zhou, Susan Sheldon, Nahida Akel, Anthony A. Killeen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background: Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of polymorphic microsatellite or minisatellite DNA markers has proven to be a fast, sensitive, and specific technique in post-transplantation monitoring of bone marrow engraftment, as well as early detection of residual disease and relapse. Deletion or amplification of chromosomal segments carrying marker loci, as can occur in leukemia and other hematologic malignancies, may result in loss or increased dosage of marker alleles. Examination of these marker alleles by PCR therefore may give aberrant results, which might lead to misinterpretation of bone marrow transplantation (BMT) engraftment studies. Methods and Results: We report a case of chronic myelogenous leukemia treated by BMT. PCR amplification of the minisatellite at the apoB locus on chromosome 2 was used to monitor the donor bone marrow engraftment. The patient experienced relapse in blast crisis with a near-haploid karyotype with loss of recipient-specific apoB allele causing an aberrant PCR result for bone marrow engraftment that mimicked full donor engraftment. Conclusions: Loss or gain of polymorphic DNA markers because of chromosomal losses or gains in some hematologic malignancies may affect the interpretation of bone marrow engraftment studies by PCR. When choosing polymorphic markers for such studies, it is important to avoid those that will be affected by expected chromosomal alteration, if possible. In addition, any abberant post-transplantation typing should prompt further investigation to rule out the possibility of chromosomal aberration. Review of all pertinent laboratory studies is important to avoid misinterpretation of results from a single test for engraftment analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-157
Number of pages5
JournalMolecular Diagnosis
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999


  • Bone marrow transplantation
  • Engraftment monitoring
  • PCR
  • Polymorphic DNA marker
  • VNTR
  • apoB

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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