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Test ID: CHRHB Chromosome Analysis, Hematologic Disorders, Blood

Reporting Name

Chromosomes, Hematologic, Blood

Useful For

Assisting in the classification and follow-up of certain malignant hematological disorders when bone marrow is not available


This test is not useful for congenital disorders.

Clinical Information

Chromosomal abnormalities play a central role in the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and monitoring of treatment of many hematologic disorders. Whenever possible, it is best to do chromosome studies for neoplastic hematologic disorders on bone marrow. Bone marrow studies are more sensitive and the chances of finding metaphases are about 95%, compared with only a 60% chance for blood studies. When it is not possible to collect bone marrow, chromosome studies on blood may be useful.


When blood cells are cultured in a medium without mitogens, the observation of any chromosomally abnormal clone may be consistent with a neoplastic process.


Conventional chromosome studies of B-cell disorders are not always successful because B lymphocytes do not proliferate well in cell culture. The agent CpG 7909 (CpG) is a synthetic oligodeoxynucleotide that binds to the Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) present on B cells, causing B-cell activation. In the laboratory setting, CpG may be used as a mitogen to stimulate B cells in patient specimens, thus allowing identification of chromosome abnormalities. CpG stimulation reveals an abnormal karyotype in approximately 80% of patients with of chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and the karyotype is complex in 20% to 25% of cases. Several studies have reported that increased genetic complexity revealed by CpG-stimulated chromosome studies confers a less favorable time to first treatment, treatment response, and overall survival.


For more information see Multiple Myeloma: Laboratory Screening.


The presence of an abnormal clone usually indicates a malignant neoplastic process.


The absence of an apparent abnormal clone in blood may result from a lack of circulating abnormal cells and not from an absence of disease.


On rare occasions, the presence of an abnormality may be associated with a congenital abnormality and thus, not related to a malignant process. When this situation is suspected, consultation with a Clinical Geneticist is recommended.

Testing Algorithm

This test includes a charge for cell culture of fresh specimens and professional interpretation of results. Analysis charges will be incurred for total work performed, and generally include 2 banded karyograms and the analysis of 20 metaphase cells. If no metaphase cells are available for analysis, no analysis charges will be incurred. If additional analysis work is required, additional charges may be incurred.


In addition to the cell culture, a CpG stimulated culture will be added, and 10 additional cells will be analyzed for any specimen received from a patient 30 years of age or older with a reason for testing of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), small lymphocytic lymphoma, lymphocytosis, Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia, or any CLL fluorescence in situ hybridization test previously ordered or is ordered concurrently.

Reflex Tests

Test ID Reporting Name Available Separately Always Performed
_ML20 Metaphases, 1-19 No, (Bill Only) No
_M25 Metaphases, 20-25 No, (Bill Only) No
_MG25 Metaphases, >25 No, (Bill Only) No
_STAC Ag-Nor/CBL Stain No, (Bill Only) No

Report Available

9 to 11 days

Day(s) Performed

Monday through Friday

Clinical Reference

1. Dewald GW, Ketterling RP, Wyatt WA, Stupca PJ: Cytogenetic studies in neoplastic hematologic disorders. In: McClatchey KD, ed. Clinical Laboratory Medicine. 2nd ed. Williams and Wilkens; 2002:658-685

2. Rigolin GM, Cibien F, Martinelli S, et al: Chromosome aberrations detected by conventional karyotyping using novel mitogens in chronic lymphocytic leukemia with "normal" FISH: correlations with clinicobiological parameters. Blood. 2012 Mar 8;119(10):2310-2313

Method Name

Cell Culture without Mitogens followed by Chromosome Analysis

Specimen Type

Whole blood

Ordering Guidance

This test is not appropriate for detecting constitutional/congenital chromosome abnormalities. If this test is ordered with a reason for testing indicating a concern for a constitutional/congenital chromosome abnormality, the test will be canceled and CHRCB / Chromosome Analysis, Congenital Disorders, Blood will be added and performed as the appropriate test.


If this test is ordered and the laboratory is informed that the patient is on a Children's Oncology Group (COG) protocol, this test will be canceled and automatically reordered by the laboratory as COGBL / Chromosome Analysis, Hematologic Disorders, Children's Oncology Group Enrollment Testing, Blood.


Consultation with personnel from the Cytogenetics Laboratory is recommended when considering blood studies for hematologic disorders. Call 800-533-1710 and ask for the Cytogenetics Genetic Counselor on call.

Shipping Instructions

Advise Express Mail or equivalent if not on courier service.

Necessary Information

1. A reason for testing should be submitted with each specimen. The laboratory will not reject testing if this information is not provided, but appropriate testing and interpretation may be compromised or delayed.

2. A pathology and/or flow cytometry report may be requested by the laboratory to optimize testing and aid in interpretation of results.

Specimen Required


Preferred: Yellow top (ACD)

Acceptable: Green top (sodium heparin) or lavender top (EDTA)

Specimen Volume: 6 mL

Collection Instructions:

1. Invert several times to mix blood.

2. Send whole blood specimen in original tube. Do not aliquot.

Specimen Minimum Volume

3 mL

Specimen Stability Information

Specimen Type Temperature Time Special Container
Whole blood Ambient (preferred)

Reference Values

An interpretative report will be provided.

Test Classification

This test was developed, and its performance characteristics determined by Mayo Clinic in a manner consistent with CLIA requirements. This test has not been cleared or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

CPT Code Information

88237, 88291-Tissue culture for neoplastic disorders; bone marrow, blood, Interpretation and report

88264 w/ modifier 52-Chromosome analysis with less than 20 cells (if appropriate)

88264-Chromosome analysis with 20 to 25 cells (if appropriate)

88264,88285-Chromosome analysis with greater than 25 cells (if appropriate)

88283-Additional specialized banding technique (if appropriate) 

LOINC Code Information

Test ID Test Order Name Order LOINC Value
CHRHB Chromosomes, Hematologic, Blood 62348-8


Result ID Test Result Name Result LOINC Value
52391 Result Summary 50397-9
52393 Interpretation 69965-2
52392 Result 82939-0
CG778 Reason for Referral 42349-1
52394 Specimen 31208-2
52395 Source 31208-2
52397 Method 85069-3
52396 Banding Method 62359-5
54633 Additional Information 48767-8
52398 Released By 18771-6


If not ordering electronically, complete, print, and send a Hematopathology/Cytogenetics Test Request (T726) with the specimen.

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