Kueh Bing Ling, Rahimah Ahmad, Ezalia Esa, Hishamshah Mohd-Ibrahim, Mustaffa Harun, Norli Ismail, Kee Chee Cheong and Zubaidah Zakaria (2014). Comparison of quantitative real-time PCR and short tandem repeat PCR for monitoring chimerism after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in paediatric patients. International Journal of Health Sciences and Research 4(8): 78-86
Post-hematopoietic stem cell transplantation chimerism monitoring is important to assess the kinetics of engraftment, and to assist in diagnosis of graft failure, rejection or relapse. The purpose of this study aimed to compare two methods, short tandem repeat polymerase chain reaction (STR-PCR) and quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR), in order to determine hematopoietic chimerism. The chimerism of blood samples from 57 paediatric patients were analyzed by STR-PCR and qRT-PCR on different days after allogeneic hematopoietics stem cell transplantation. The results showed good quantitative correlation between the two methods with correlation coefficient (r)=0.854 (p<0.001). The high correlation between STR-PCR and qRT-PCR methods helps to validate the use of qRT-PCR for chimerism analysis. The chimerism status may differ using the different methods. In some samples, the chimerism status using the STR-PCR showed complete donor chimerism however it showed mixed chimerism using qRT-PCR. On the other hand, all samples with complete donor chimerism in qRT-PCR were also in complete donor chimerism using STR-PCR. Thus, qRT-PCR is a valid, more sensitive, simple and rapid compared to STR-PCR method in chimerism monitoring.