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Chromosome Analysis Bone Marrow

Test Code


Test Synonyms

Karyotype analysis, cancer cytogenetics


24, 48 and/or 72 hour culture / G-banding

Turnaround Time

5-7 days

Specimen Requirements

3 mL sodium heparin tube for bone marrow aspirate
5 mm of bone core sample in at least 4 mL tissue culture transport media (RPMI) using 10 mL sterile transport tube
Fixed cytogenetically prepared cells in sterile centrifuge tube with 3:1, Methanol:Acetic Acid. Pellet must be visible for the volume part and the medium part 3:1, Methanol:Acetic Acid.

Specimen Stability
4°C to 25°C, specimens are stable up to 72 hours
Fixed cell pellets are stable for years when stored at -28°C to 15°C
Storage & Handling

4 to 25°C during transit, but specimens may be transported on refrigerated gel packs. Do not allow the gel pack to come in contact with the specimen. Do not freeze. Extreme temperatures should be avoided.

Causes for Rejection

Clotted specimen; Specimen exposed to extreme temperature; Anticoagulant toxic to cells; Insufficient number of cells

Reference Range

Chromosome count and morphology consistent with normal karyotype


Bone marrow is the tissue of choice for cytogenetic study of most hematologic conditions because it more accurately reflects what occurs in vivo than other sample types. In hematological malignant diseases, the recognized recurring chromosomal abnormalities often correlate with particular subtypes of leukemia that have characteristic morphological and clinical features, such as response to therapy.

The study of chromosomal abnormalities in leukemia serves two functions. The first of these is to assist in more accurate diagnosis, thereby providing prognostic information and allowing the more rational sections of therapy for a particular patient; and the second is to identify the sites of consistent rearrangements, providing the precise localization required for the isolation and cloning of DNA from these regions.

  1. Dunn, B. (2005). The Cytogenetic Symposia. 2nd edition, 13-1.
  2. Heim et al. (1995). Cancer Cytogenetics. New York: Wiley-Liss.
  3. Barch, M. (1991). ACT Cytogenetic Laboratory Manual. 2nd edition, 395-396.