Interpretive Handbook

Test 8912 :
Chromosomes, Body Fluid

Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

Cytogenetic studies on body fluids (eg, pleural effusions, ascites, and pericardial, cerebrospinal, and synovial fluids) may be helpful to diagnose or to rule-out metastases or relapses in patients with lymphoma or other malignancies.


Chromosome analysis serves as a useful adjunct to cytology. In pleural fluids, lymphomas are often more readily diagnosed by cytogenetic techniques than by standard cytologic examination.

Useful For Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Assisting in the diagnosis of certain malignancies

Interpretation Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

The observation of a chromosomally abnormal clone is evidence of a clonal neoplastic process.


A normal karyotype does not eliminate the possibility of a neoplastic process.


On rare occasions, the presence of an abnormality may be associated with a congenital abnormality that is not related to a malignant neoplastic process. Follow-up with a medical genetics consultation is recommended.

Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

Interfering factors:



-Lack of viable cells

-Bacterial contamination

-Cell death due to failure to transport tissue in appropriate media

-Excessive transport time

-Exposure of the specimen to temperature extremes (freezing or >30 degrees C).



-Normal cells may grow better in culture than tumor cells and interfere with the cytogenetic studies.

-Subtle structural chromosome anomalies can be missed occasionally

Reference Values Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.

46,XX or 46,XY. No apparent chromosome abnormality. An interpretive report will be provided.

Clinical References Provides recommendations for further in-depth reading of a clinical nature

Dewald GW, Dines DE, Weiland LH, Gordon H: The usefulness of chromosome examination in the diagnosis of malignant pleural effusions. N Engl J Med 1976;295:1494-1500