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Am J Clin Pathol. 2002 Jan;117(1):57-9.

Spurious dyserythropoiesis.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence 02903, USA.


We documented the occurrence and severity of dyserythropoiesis as an artifact of storage in bone marrow aspirates collected in EDTA. Bone marrow samples were obtained from 7 patients without myelodysplasia. Specimens were stored at room (20 degrees C-24 degrees C) or refrigerated (1 degrees C-6 degrees C) temperature and examined for dyserythropoiesis at 0, 1, 2, and 3 days. Initial specimens showed few dyserythropoietic abnormalities; nuclear aberrations occurred in 1.07%+/-0.06% (mean +/- SEM) of the erythroid population. At room temperature, dyserythropoietic changes increased significantly with each day of storage. Nuclear and cytoplasmic alterations occurred; the former are diagnostically more important in the diagnosis of myelodysplastic syndromes. Cytoplasmic changes were more extensive than nuclear abnormalities. The mean +/- SEM percentage of erythroblasts with cytoplasmic vacuoles increased with each day of storage: day 0, 1.1%+/-0.2%; day 1, 22.1%+/-1.8%; day 2, 29.4%+/-2.0%; day 3, 35.6%+/-1.9%. Nuclear shape changes increased to 6.21%+/-1.12%, 11.36%+/-1.12%, and 12.85%+/-1.20% on days 1, 2, and 3, respectively. After 1 day of storage, sufficient dysplastic changes occur to cause difficulty in the diagnosis of a myelodysplastic syndrome. Changes are inhibited significantly by refrigerated storage.

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