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Mod Pathol. 2014 Nov;27(11):1447-54. doi: 10.1038/modpathol.2014.69. Epub 2014 Apr 25.

High concordance in grading reticulin fibrosis and cellularity in patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms.

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Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.
Sanofi Oncology, Cambridge, MA, USA.
University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.
Department of Pathology, WRN244, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.


The myeloproliferative neoplasms primary myelofibrosis, polycythemia vera, and, rarely, essential thrombocythemia are characterized by variable degrees of bone marrow fibrosis, either at presentation or upon progression. The increasing use of emerging therapies that may alter disease biology and morphology demands accurate and reproducible assessment of fibrosis grade. To assess concordance of hematopoietic cellularity and fibrosis grading, three hematopathologists independently evaluated a total of 728 bone marrow biopsies from 261 patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms on three clinical trials using fedratinib (SAR302503), a JAK2 inhibitor, including 249 taken at baseline and 479 on therapy. Concordance between the pathologists was evaluated by Pearson correlation coefficient (cellularity) and unweighted kappa statistic (fibrosis grade). There was high correlation of cellularity assessment (r=0.92) and fibrosis grading (kappa=0.83) between the three pathologists. Concordance with World Health Organization (WHO) grade 3 samples was higher compared with grades 0, 1, and 2. Concordance of fibrosis grading in pretreatment samples was superior to that of post-treatment samples (kappa=0.83 and 0.79, respectively, P=0.023). Our analysis suggests that the updated 2008 WHO reticulin fibrosis grading system is highly reproducible, even in patients undergoing JAK2 inhibitor therapy. This system is practically applicable to establish baseline fibrosis grade as well as changes in fibrosis in subsequent samples on therapy.

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