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Blood. 2000 Nov 15;96(10):3374-80.

Evaluation and clinical correlations of bone marrow angiogenesis in myelofibrosis with myeloid metaplasia.

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Division of Hematology and Internal Medicine, the Division of Hematopathology, and the Cancer Center Statistics Unit, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, MN, USA.


Recent observations have underscored the biologic relevance of intratumoral angiogenesis and its potential impact on prognosis. Increased bone marrow angiogenesis has been demonstrated in a variety of hematologic disorders, including multiple myeloma. The extent and prognostic significance of bone marrow angiogenesis in 114 patients with myelofibrosis with myeloid metaplasia (MMM) was investigated. A control group of 44 patients without bone marrow disease, 15 patients with polycythemia vera, and 17 patients with essential thrombocythemia was also studied. Bone marrow microvessel density was assessed by a semiquantitative method, visual microvessel grading, and 2 separate quantitative methods, visual count and computerized image analysis. Angiogenesis estimation by all 3 methods was highly comparable. On visual microvessel grading, a grade 3 or 4 increase in bone marrow angiogenesis was demonstrated in 70% of patients with MMM, 33% of patients with polycythemia vera, 12% of patients with essential thrombocythemia, and 0% of normal controls. In a multivariate analysis, increased angiogenesis in MMM correlated significantly with increased spleen size and was found to be a significant and independent risk factor for overall survival. Increases in marrow angiogenesis correlated with hypercellularity and megakaryocyte clumping. In contrast, these 2 features were inversely proportional to reticulin fibrosis, whereas increases in marrow angiogenesis were independent of reticulin fibrosis. These preliminary findings suggest that neo-angiogenesis is an integral component of the bone marrow stromal reaction in MMM and may provide useful prognostic information and a rationale for the therapeutic investigation of anti-angiogenic agents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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