Targeted pathologic evaluation of bone marrow donors identifies previously undiagnosed marrow abnormalities.
Potential bone marrow donors are screened to ensure the safety of both the donor and recipient. At our institution, potential donors with abnormal peripheral blood cell counts, a personal history of malignancy, or age >60 years are evaluated to ensure that they are viable candidates for donation. Evaluation of the marrow includes morphologic, flow cytometric, and cytogenetic studies. A total of 122 potential donors were screened between the years of 2001 and 2011, encompassing approximately 10% of all donors. Of the screened potential donors, the mean age was 59 years and there were 59 men and 63 women. The donors were screened because of age >60 years (n = 33), anemia (n = 22), cytopenias other than anemia (n = 27), elevated peripheral blood counts without a concurrent cytopenia (n = 20), elevated peripheral blood counts with a concurrent cytopenia (n = 10), history of malignancy (n = 4), abnormal peripheral blood differential (n = 3), prior graft failure (n = 1), history of treatment with chemotherapy (n = 1), and body habitus (n = 1). Marrow abnormalities were detected in 9% (11 of 122) of donors. These donors were screened because of anemia (5 of 22, 23%), age >60 years (2 of 33, 6%), history of malignancy (2 of 4, 50%), elevated peripheral blood counts (1 of 20, 5%), and body habitus (1 of 1, 100%). Abnormalities included plasma cell dyscrasia (n = 3), abnormal marrow cellularity (n = 3), clonal cytogenetic abnormalities (n = 2), low-grade myelodysplastic syndrome (1), a mutated JAK2 V617F allele (n = 1), and monoclonal B cell lymphocytosis (n = 1). Our experience indicates that extended screening of potential donors identifies a significant number of donors with previously undiagnosed marrow abnormalities.