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Bone Marrow Transplant. 2002 Feb;29(3):243-8.

Comparison of short tandem repeat and variable number tandem repeat genetic markers for quantitative determination of allogeneic bone marrow transplant engraftment.

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Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Service, Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, Little Rock, AR 72205, USA.


Variable number tandem repeats (VNTRs) were among the first genetic markers used to quantitate bone marrow transplant engraftment. The limitations of PCR-based VNTR markers in distinguishing some donor/recipient pairs has shown the need for additional genetic markers to analyze engraftment. Short tandem repeats (STRs) provide an excellent tool for this purpose because of their high degree of polymorphism and relatively short length. We compared STR analysis results with previous VNTR results for 16 post-transplantation samples from four allogeneic bone marrow transplant patients. Previously analyzed patient samples were chosen to cover the full range of engraftment. DNA samples from each patient were analyzed in a blinded fashion. Good quantitative correlation was found between STR and VNTR results in samples from all four patients. STR markers were informative in one patient for whom PCR-based VNTR markers were not available. Correlation of VNTR and STR methods helps to validate the use of STRs for the quantitative analysis of bone marrow transplant engraftment. This study demonstrates that STR-based human identity testing kits are well suited for engraftment analysis.

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