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The use of unfixed bone marrow trephines for multicolour flow cytometry

Morilla, R., Moss, K., Nikolova, V., Marquardt, K., Duke, S., Adamowska, K., Fuller, L., Taifoor, A., Johnson, N., Zeisig, A., Morilla, A., Atra, A., Taussig, D.C.
Methods 2018 v.134-135 pp. 80-86
antigens, biopsy, blood, bone marrow, equipment, flow cytometry, leukemia, patients
An adequate bone marrow aspirate is essential for a rapid diagnosis of acute leukaemia by multicolour flow cytometry enabling the simultaneous assessment of multiple antigens on the cell surface as well as intracellular or nuclear ones.In the context of acute leukaemia, it is important to have a diagnosis of the blasts lineage as soon as possible to decide the appropriate treatment. This is sometimes delayed due to difficulties in obtaining a bone marrow aspirate due to a “dry tap”.In this study we evaluated retrospectively cell markers results by flow cytometry of unfixed bone marrow trephines of 65 patients with leukaemia at diagnosis and including a few after treatment.Our aims were:1) To compare cell markers results between bone marrow trephine (BMT) and bone marrow aspirate (BMA) 24 cases and BMT with peripheral blood (PB) 14 cases in paired samples to establish if they were reproducible with results of the unfixed bone marrow trephine biopsies.2) To ascertain a precise diagnosis in 27 (42%) of the cases in which only a bone marrow trephine was available.We demonstrated that unfixed bone marrow trephine provides an adequate and representative cell suspension for flow cytometry and it is a powerful tool when no other material (bone marrow aspirate or peripheral blood) is available to make a rapid diagnosis.Furthermore when marrow aspirate or peripheral blood paired samples were available, flow cytometry results obtained were identical across all the sample types.Applicability to the clinical laboratory:We described a method to obtain a cell suspension from core biopsies that can easily be implemented routinely in a laboratory that performs diagnostic flow cytometry immunophenotyping. This method is simple, inexpensive and it doesn’t require extra equipment.