DNA and RNA content analysis by flow cytometry in the pathobiologic assessment of bone tumors

Adel K. El‐Naggar, Kenneth Hurr, Z. Nora Tu, Kim Teague, Kevin A. Raymond, Alberto G. Ayala, John Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Studies of simultaneous DNA and RNA contents by flow cytometry in hematologic and some solid neoplasms have been shown to provide information that may be useful in the pathobiological evaluation of these neoplasms, We contend that similar analysis may be equally valuable in assessing bone tumors. Our data revealed significant statistical differences in DNA ploidy and proliferative fraction between benign and malignant bone neoplasms. Benign tumors manifested predominantly DNA diploidy and low proliferative activity, whereas the majority of malignant tumors were DNA aneuploid and showed high proliferation rate. No significant difference in the RNA content between different histopathologic categories was found. We observed, however, a distinct and consistently high RNA content pattern in giant cell tumors, aneurysmal bone cysts, and chondroblastomas that may be useful in their differential diagnosis. Analysis of different prognostic factors in malignant tumors indicated that histologic grade and DNA content are a significant prognostic factor. Further analysis of malignant tumors showed that a correlation between the proliferative activity and the clinical outcome in the low grade category and between RNA content and patients' survival in osteosarcomas. Our study also showed that preoperative treatment significantly impacted on the extent of the proliferative fraction in malignant tumors, We conclude that DNA/RNA analysis of bone tumor may assist in: (1) the differential diagnosis of certain bone tumors, (2) evaluation of treatment response, and (3) the biological assessment of osteosarcomas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-262
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 1995


  • Acridine orange
  • Bone tumors
  • DNA content
  • Flow cytometry
  • Osteosarcoma
  • RNA content

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Biophysics
  • Endocrinology


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