Skip to Content

Chimerism Assessment by Polymorphic Microsatellite Markers

Pre-transplant Screening


- To evaluate and monitor engraftment after hematopoietic stem cell transplant using total cells (both peripheral blood and bone marrow) and ,sorted T- and myeloid cells (bone marrow only). Detection of microsatelllite markers that are exclusively donor in origin indicates successful engraftment. Serial values showing a decline i engraftment of donor cells may predict a graft-failure in appropriate clinical settings.

- To identify the source of successful engraftment when more than one donors are used from the hematopoietic stem cell transplant.


Chimerism testing for assessment of stem cell engraftment is performed on genomic DNA extracted from peripheral blood or bone marrow aspirate samples. For peripheral blood samples, additional testing is performed on DNA from sorted T-lymphocytes, myeloid cells and/or NK cells as applicable.

Eight highly informative microsatellite markers are amplified in three multiplex-PCR reactions using (Forward or Reverse) primers labeled with fluorescent tags.

PCR products are loaded on an ABI 3130xl Genetic Analyzer for size fractionation, and quantification. The collected raw data are analyzed for the size and quantity of the peak area of the fragments using GeneMapper® Software.

For the initial testing on any patient, the test is performed on 3 separate DNA samples: donor DNA, recipient Pre-transplant (germline) DNA, and recipient post-transplant DNA sample to identify an informative marker that can distinguish between the donor and recipient. This unique marker will be used for subsequent Chimerism analysis by importing pre & donors profiles from archives for analysis.

Final results are reported as percentage of donor DNA in total (Donor+recipient) DNA in the sample.

Test Parameters

Peripheral blood samples are required from both donor and recipient.

Turnaround Time

Five to seven working days

Sample Requirements

  • 10 ml peripheral blood in purple top tube (EDTA Vacutainer), sent on wet ice

  • 2-5 ml of bone marrow aspirate, sent on wet ice

CPT Codes

81265, 81267, 81268

The CPT codes provided are based on AMA guidelines and are for informational purposes only. CPT coding is the sole responsibility of the billing party. Please direct any questions regarding coding to the payer being billed.

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center