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Blood. 2007 Nov 1;110(9):3384-6. Epub 2007 Jul 20.

The revised WHO diagnostic criteria for Ph-negative myeloproliferative diseases are not appropriate for the diagnostic screening of childhood polycythemia vera and essential thrombocythemia.

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  • 1Department of Hematology, Catholic University, Largo Gemelli 8, 00168 Rome, Italy.


In the proposed revised World Health Organization (WHO) criteria for the diagnosis of BCR-ABL(-) myeloproliferative diseases (MPDs), exclusion criteria have been replaced by the presence of JAK2 mutations. We applied these criteria to 45 children with MPDs: 13 with polycythemia vera (PV) and 32 with essential thrombocythemia (ET). Among these 45 patients, 12 with ET and 5 with PV had a familial history of MPD, and had been investigated for hereditary mutations of the erythropoietin receptor, thrombopoietin, or MPL genes. We found that the JAK2(V617F) mutation in children occurs less frequently than in adults, and that exon 12 JAK2 mutations are absent. On the basis of the revised WHO criteria, a significant proportion of childhood PVs were misdiagnosed. Furthermore, all familial ET, including patients carrying the hereditary MPL(Ser505Asn) activating mutation, were erroneously diagnosed as MPDs. Our observations suggest that childhood MPDs require a set of specific diagnostic criteria.

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