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Blood Cells Mol Dis. 2005 Nov-Dec;35(3):370-83. Epub 2005 Oct 3.

Uncommon phenotypes of acute myelogenous leukemia: basophilic, mast cell, eosinophilic, and myeloid dendritic cell subtypes: a review.

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  • 1University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.


The potential of the transformed (leukemic) multipotential hematopoietic cell to differentiate and mature along any myeloid lineage forms the basis for the phenotypic classification of acute and chronic myelogenous leukemia. Although most cases of leukemia can be classified phenotypically by the dominant lineage expressed, the genotype within each phenotype is heterogeneous. Thus, covert genetic factors, cryptic mutations, and/or polymorphisms may interact with the seminal transforming genetic mutations to determine phenotype. The phenotype usually is expressed sufficiently to determine the lineage that is dominant in the leukemic clone by light microscopic examination, by cytochemistry of blood and marrow cells, and by immunophenotyping. The basis for the frequency of the AML phenotypes is unclear, although there is a rough concordance with the frequency of marrow precursor cells of different lineages. The least common AML phenotypes are a reflection of the least common blood or marrow cell lineages: acute basophilic, acute mast cell, acute eosinophilic, and acute myeloid dendritic cell leukemia. We discuss the features of these uncommon phenotypes and review the criteria used for their diagnosis.

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