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Leukemia. 2002 Aug;16(8):1399-401.

Erythroleukemia: a need for a new definition.

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  • 1Service d'Hématologie, Hôpital Cochin, Paris, France.


The new WHO classification abolishes the frontier between RAEB-t with 20% of blasts and leukemia with 30% of blasts. We review the definitions of erythroleukemia and discuss the relationship between FAB AML6, RAEB-t and AML6 variant. We ask whether secondary erythroleukemias are the same entity as RAEB-t on survival, karyotype and cytologic characteristics. We suggest that 'AML6 variant' with pure erythroid lineage proliferation would be the real de novo erythroleukemia. Current FAB AML6 entity will probably be classified in either subgroup (1) multilineage dysplasia; (2) therapy-related leukemia; or (3) acute erythroid leukemia subdivided into erythroleukemia (erythroid/myeloid) and pure erythroid leukemia, in the WHO classification - a classification which highlights the importance of clinical and cytogenetic prognostic factors.

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