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Blood. 2011 May 26;117(21):5710-8. doi: 10.1182/blood-2010-07-293761. Epub 2011 Mar 29.

Essential thrombocythemia versus early primary myelofibrosis: a multicenter study to validate the WHO classification.

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Institute of Pathology, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.


Controversy persists regarding the role of histopathology in the distinction between essential thrombocythemia (ET) and early-prefibrotic primary myelofi-brosis (PMF) presenting with thrombocythemia. To investigate the impact and reproducibility of bone marrow (BM) morphology according to the World Health Organization classification, 295 patients with the presumptive clinical diagnosis of either ET or early PMF were studied. Data of this cohort (Vienna group) were compared with 732 corresponding patients (Cologne group). Evaluating blindly (only age and gender known) BM specimens, the 2 groups of pathologists achieved an overall consensus of 78% regarding the total series and 88% concerning the discrimination between ET versus PMF. In 126 ET and 81 early PMF patients without pretreatment and complete documentation, a 90% concordance with the independently established clinical diagnosis was found. In 12 patients, overlapping of histopathology and some clinical findings between ET and polycythemia vera occurred. Contrasting ET, early PMF showed significant differences of presenting hematologic data and an unfavorable prognosis (estimated mean survival, 14 vs 21 years). Comparison of clinical and survival data of the Vienna cohort with the historical Cologne series revealed an overall congruence. This study highlights the impact of BM morphology for the differentiation between true vs false ET.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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