• X-inactivation patterns;
  • myeloproliferative disorders;
  • Budd-Chiari syndrome;
  • erythroid colonies

Abstract: Some patients with an early or latent myeloproliferative disorder (MPD) present with Budd-Chiari syndrome (BCS, hepatic vein thrombosis). Cell culture analysis of erythroid progenitors (BFU-E) can be used to discriminate primary from secondary MPD and examination of X-chromosome inactivation (in females) can be used to demonstrate clonality in neoplastic tissues. The present study used these techniques to examine whether a group of 7 female patients who presented with BCS had evidence to support a diagnosis of MPD. Unilateral X-inactivation and therefore clonality can be studied in females heterozygous for X-linked restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLP) by differences in methylation between active and inactive chromosomes. Probes for two polymorphic loci, phosphoglycerate kinase (PGK, at Xq13.3 [BstX1 RFLP]) and M27β (an anonymous locus DXS255 at Xp11.22 [Pst1 RFLP]) were used to study methylation patterns. All 7 patients were heterozygous using M27β and 2/7 were also heterozygous using the PGK probe. Polyclonal patterns of X-inactivation in granulocytes were demonstrated in 3/7, a skewed/monoclonal pattern in 1/7 and aberrant patterns in 3/7 using M27β. Two patients who had aberrant patterns of X inactivation with M27β demonstrated a skewed/monoclonal pattern with PGK. The results of BFU-E growth patterns and clonality were entirely concordant in 5/6 patients. Thus X-chromosome inactivation patterns, in conjunction with erythroid colony studies, can be used to assist in the diagnosis of an underlying MPD in BCS.