Objective For prenatal cytogenetic diagnosis, cell cultures should be maximally successful. When introducing a change in conditions, e.g. a new batch of medium, the growth potential of a culture is usually compared under both the new condition and the one already in use. Such a relative test is in principle subject to drift and may over time increasingly lead to rejection of new adequate conditions, c.q. good batches of medium. We therefore wanted to design an absolute test to assess the quality of a new condition for amniotic fluid (AF) in situ cell culturing.
Methods We tested batches of medium under sub-optimal (stress) conditions, expecting that differences in growth potential would thereby be more readily observed. In our stress test, we diluted the culture medium to the extent of achieving a 50% growth reduction. Thresholds for rejecting a new condition were empirically determined, based on the acceptance of a less than 1% probability of false rejection of a good condition.
Results Testing three cultures per patient for ten patients, i.e. 30 cultures in total, in a medium diluted to 30% of the original concentration, showed that a minimal number of 23 successful cultures and an average number of three or more colonies per culture appeared as thresholds meeting our rejection criteria. Testing five different media resulted in the rejection of one. Using the same stress test to evaluate the effect of culturing under decreased oxygen tension showed that 2.5 and 5% oxygen tension caused a larger colony size.
Conclusion We designed a sensitive absolute test to assess the quality of culturing conditions for cells to be used in prenatal diagnosis in general and in particular to test the growth potential of different batches of culture medium. Copyright (c) 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
- amniotic fluid cell culture
- growth potential
- growth curve
- stress test
- oxygen tension