Abstract

1. A simple, economical and effective method has been described for obtaining cadaver bone marrow following a routine autopsy.

2. Individual vertebral bodies are dissected free of soft tissue and their surfaces are sterilized by immersion of the entire bone in 70 per cent ethyl alcohol.

3. Following surface sterilization, the bones are placed in a modified sterile plastic container and the nucleated marrow cells are expressed from the bone by compression of the bag in a vise.

4. After the marrow particles have been dispersed by massaging the bag, the marrow suspension is filtered and the fat is separated following gentle centrifugation.

5. Sterile yields were obtained from 70-90 per cent of cadavers which were judged suitable in terms of freedom from gross evidence of bacterial infection at the time of autopsy.

6. High yields of nucleated hematopoietic cells were obtained, averaging more than 50 x 109 cells as the investigators became more experienced with the procedure.

7. Thirteen transfusions of cadaver marrow were administered to eight patients. Minor symptoms and low-grade febrile responses were experienced on three occasions; in four additional patients entirely asymptomatic temperature elevations of 0.5-2.2 F. were observed. The remaining six transfusions were unaccompanied by fever or symptoms of any kind.

8. The possible value of the technic for definitive study of the therapeutic usefulness of bone marrow transfusion has been discussed.

This content is only available as a PDF.