Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
Blood. 1987 Oct;70(4):1073-8.

Nonhomogeneous distribution of leukemia in the bone marrow during minimal residual disease.

Author information

  • 1Radiobiological Institute TNO, Rijswijk, The Netherlands.


In a rat model (BNML) for human acute myelocytic leukemia the distribution of leukemic cells in bone marrow samples from various sites was investigated, using monoclonal antibodies (MoAbs) and flow cytometry. Rats were studied before chemotherapy as well as thereafter, ie, in the "minimal residual disease" (MRD) phase. Bone marrow from different types of bones was analyzed from each animal. Before treatment, the ratio of the measured extreme values (ie, highest/lowest value) for leukemic cell frequencies in bones from individual rats ranged from 3.7 to 11.7. During the MRD phase the ratios of the extremes ranged from a factor of 36 to more than 13,000 from one rat to another. The variability between bones of comparable size was estimated by studying the ribs from each individual animal. Within individuals the extremes differed by a factor of 1.2 to 4.0 before chemotherapy and from 2.4 to greater than 320 after chemotherapy. The variability within the marrow cavity of a single bone was determined by analyzing multiple samples from femoral bones cut into slices. The leukemic cell frequency appeared to vary considerably, ie, before treatment from 1.7 to 7.3 and during MRD from 4 to 28,000. The presented data may contribute to understanding the sometimes conflicting observations in leukemic patients. Improvement of methods for detecting MRD will not automatically lead to a more accurate estimation of the total tumor burden. The reliability of diagnoses based on the analysis of single bone marrow aspirates appears to be highly questionable.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk