Conventional karyotyping is rarely positive in lymphoma staging marrow samples and the bone marrow karyotype did not contribute clinically revelant information in the majority of cases studied, a recent study published online early in theAmerican Journal of Hematology has shown.

For their study, researchers sought to assess the utility of conventional karyotyping in lymphoma staging. Researchers retrospectively identified and reviewed pathological reports of 526 staging bone marrow specimens in which conventional karyotyping had been used.

All samples were from patients with previously untreated Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas presenting in an extramedullary site who were being treated at a single institution.

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Results showed that cytogenetic analysis identified clonal abnormalities in only 1.5% of bone marrow samples. All were positive for lymphoma by morphologic evaluation.

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Researchers found that flow cytometry showed a small clonal lymphoid population in only 0.7% of the 444 morphologically negative bone marrow samples.

The findings suggest that karyotyping should not be performed routinely on bone marrow samples taken to stage patients with previously untreated extramedullary Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas unless there is pathological evidence of bone marrow involvement by lymphoma.


  1. Nardi V, Pulluqi O, Abramson JS, et al. Routine conventional karyotyping of lymphoma staging bone marrow samples does not contribute clinically relevant information. Am J Hematol. 2015. [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1002/ajh.24008.