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Hum Pathol. 2003 Apr;34(4):391-401.

Evaluating the volume ratio of bone marrow affected by fibrosis: a parameter crucial for the prognostic significance of marrow fibrosis in chronic myeloid leukemia.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Germany.


Marrow fibrosis (MF) is a complication of bone marrow neoplasms that usually impairs quality of life and shortens survival time. Proof and exact quantification of MF is not yet standardized, thus impeding the comparability of results and the evaluation of its prognostic impact. In this study on 360 bone marrow biopsy specimens from 135 patients with either chronic idiopathic myelofibrosis (CIMF) (evaluation group) or chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) (test group), marked differences were detected between six different approaches systematically compared with respect to proof and quantification of MF. A new volumetric approach quantifying the marrow volume affected by fibrosis turned out to be superior to all of the other morphometric methods considering practicability and specificity of results, and superior to a semiquantitative procedure considering sensitivity, precision, and reproducibility (P < 0.00005). The assessment of the marrow volume with fibrosis was the only feature of MF independently influencing the survival time of patients (test group with CML; multivariate analysis, P = 0.0008). We conclude that an approach estimating the marrow volume affected by fibrosis is the method of choice to exactly quantify and prove MF. The loss of marrow volume due to fibrosis appears to be crucial with respect to the prognostic significance of MF in CML. Hum Pathol 34:391-401.

Copyright 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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