Microsatellite instability confounds engraftment analysis of hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation

Li Hui Tseng, Jih Luh Tang, Lisa Haley, Katie Beierl, Christopher D. Gocke, James R. Eshleman, Ming Tseh Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Polymorphic short tandem-repeat, or microsatellite, loci have been widely used to analyze chimerism status after allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation. In molecular diagnostic laboratories, it is recommended to calculate mixed chimerism for at least 2 informative loci and to avoid microsatellite loci on chromosomes with copy number changes. In this report, we show that microsatellite instability observed in 2 patients with acute leukemia may confound chimerism analysis. Interpretation errors may occur even if 2 to 3 loci are analyzed because of length variation in multiple microsatellite loci. Although microsatellite loci with length variation should not be selected for chimerism analysis, the presence of microsatellite instability, like copy number alteration because of aberrant chromosomes, provides evidence of recurrent or residual cancer cells after hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)416-420
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Immunohistochemistry and Molecular Morphology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • Allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation
  • Chimerism
  • Leukemia relapse
  • Microsatellite instability
  • Short tandem-repeat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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