Estimation of hepatic hematopoiesis in second and third trimester singleton gestations using flow cytometric light scatter analysis of archival autopsy tissue

Naus, G.J.; Amann, G.R.; Macpherson, T.A.

Early Human Development 30(2): 101-107


ISSN/ISBN: 0378-3782
PMID: 1493763
DOI: 10.1016/0378-3782(92)90138-7
Accession: 008625851

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The purpose of this investigation was to develop a simple, quantitative, reproducible and objective method for estimating fetal hepatic hematopoiesis using flow cytometric light scatter measurements and to use this methodology to determine standard values for singleton gestations. Precent hepatic hematopoiesis was estimated from autopsy tissue both flow cytometrically using forward angle and side light scatter characteristics and histologically (single observer) in 67 s and third trimester singleton gestations without evidence of infection, congenital malformation, chronic maternal or placental disorders, or growth retardation. Correlation of flow cytometric and histologic estimates was 0.70 with flow cytometric estimates showing less variability than histoloic estimates, especially during the second trimester. Flow cytometric estimates of hepatic hematopoiesis were relatively constant at 50-70% between 16 and 27 weeks gestational age and decreased during the third trimester to a level of approximately 25-30% at term. These results confirm and quantitate the predicted decrease in hepatic hematopoiesis between the second and third trimesters of gestation as well as its persistence at term. In addition, they demonstrate that flow cytometric light scatter analysis is an objective, valid and simple method for estimating hepatic hematopoiesis in archival autopsy tissue and provides objective standard values for comparison with estimates in pathologic gestations.