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Karyotype (leukaemia/lymphoma)

Also known as: Chromosome studies, karyotype (oncology)

Test category:

Oncology - Leukaemia

Use of test

Purpose:

Chromosome analysis can detect abnormalities of chromosome structure or number in malignant cells. These abnormalities can have diagnostic and prognostic implications.

Utility:

Chromosome analysis can be used to assist with diagnosis/subclassification, to follow clonal evolution, and to help determine prognosis.

Ethical considerations:

This is an assay for non-heritable mutations. It does not raise issues of ethics or consent that are different from most other investigations ordered in the routine care of a patient.

Methodology:

Analysis of metaphase chromosomes by light microscopy. Chromosomes are counted, and examined for structural abnormalities.

Requesting the test

Ordering:

This test is usually requested by a haematologist or oncologist.

Sample required:

0.5 mL bone marrow in transport media (or 10 mL blood in lithium heparin if clinically appropriate).

To help ensure the quality of the test, a genetic test should be done with a dedicated sample whenever possible i.e. a sample collected specifically for that test rather than a sample that is used for multiple tests.

We recommend that the patient or another adult check the labelling of request forms and sample tubes.

Turnaround time:

18 business days.

Price:

This test has a Medicare rebate which, subject to the requirements of the Medicare descriptor being met, may cover all or part of the cost.

Rebate:

The Medicare details, including descriptor and schedule fee, are listed under MBS item 73290.