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Hematopoietic chimerism after allogeneic stem cell transplantation: a comparison of quantitative analysis by automated DNA sizing and fluorescent in situ hybridization

Justyna Jółkowska1*, Anna Pieczonka2, Tomasz Strabel3, Dariusz Boruczkowski2, Jacek Wachowiak2, Peter Bader4 and Michał Witt15

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Molecular and Clinical Genetics, Institute of Human Genetics, Strzeszyñska 32, 60-479 Poznañ, Poland

2 Department of Pediatric Oncology, Hematology and Transplantology, University of Medical Sciences, Szpitalna 27/33, 60-572 Poznañ, Poland

3 University of Agriculture, Department of Genetics and Animal Breeding, Wołyñska 33, 60-627 Poznañ, Poland

4 University Children Hospital III MRD-/ Chimerism Laboratory, Frankfurt/Main, Germany (University Children Hospital Tuebingen previously)

5 International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Trojdena 4, Warszawa, Poland

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BMC Blood Disorders 2005, 5:1  doi:10.1186/1471-2326-5-1

Published: 10 January 2005



Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) is performed mainly in patients with high-risk or advanced hematologic malignancies and congenital or acquired aplastic anemias. In the context of the significant risk of graft failure after allo-HSCT from alternative donors and the risk of relapse in recipients transplanted for malignancy, the precise monitoring of posttransplant hematopoietic chimerism is of utmost interest. Useful molecular methods for chimerism quantification after allogeneic transplantation, aimed at distinguishing precisely between donor's and recipient's cells, are PCR-based analyses of polymorphic DNA markers. Such analyses can be performed regardless of donor's and recipient's sex. Additionally, in patients after sex-mismatched allo-HSCT, fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) can be applied.


We compared different techniques for analysis of posttransplant chimerism, namely FISH and PCR-based molecular methods with automated detection of fluorescent products in an ALFExpress DNA Sequencer (Pharmacia) or ABI 310 Genetic Analyzer (PE). We used Spearman correlation test.


We have found high correlation between results obtained from the PCR/ALF Express and PCR/ABI 310 Genetic Analyzer. Lower, but still positive correlations were found between results of FISH technique and results obtained using automated DNA sizing technology.


All the methods applied enable a rapid and accurate detection of post-HSCT chimerism.