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Br J Haematol. 2014 Sep;166(6):911-9. doi: 10.1111/bjh.12990. Epub 2014 Jun 24.

WHO-histological criteria for myeloproliferative neoplasms: reproducibility, diagnostic accuracy and correlation with gene mutations and clinical outcomes.

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Department of Haematology, Hospital del Mar, IMIM, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.


Bone marrow histology is included in the diagnostic criteria of myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs). However, some concerns have emerged about its reproducibility. To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of histology and to assess its correlation with presence of mutations and clinical outcomes, two pathologists reviewed the bone marrow biopsies corresponding to 211 patients with MPN. Despite the low agreement in the evaluation of individual histopathological characteristics, the concordance among pathologists when establishing the diagnosis was good (Kappa index 0·67). The specificity of histology was 100%, 98·5% and 98% in polycythaemia vera (PV), essential thrombocythaemia (ET) and primary myelofibrosis (PMF), respectively, whereas the sensitivity of histological diagnosis was low in PV and ET (32·5% and 54% respectively) and acceptable in PMF (75%). Thirteen out of 146 (9%) patients with clinical ET were diagnosed as prefibrotic PMF. No histological agreement or MPN otherwise unspecified was more frequently observed in JAK2 V617F-positive ET than in CALR-mutated cases, whereas megakaryocytic abnormalities and prefibrotic PMF were more frequently observed in CALR-mutated ET. In conclusion, histological criteria of MPN have a limited diagnostic accuracy due to low sensitivity. Patients with JAK2 V617F-positive MPN have a heterogeneous histology while CALR-positive ET is associated with megakaryocyte abnormalities and prefibrotic PMF.


CALR; JAK2 V617F; bone marrow histology; myelopoliferative neoplasms; prefibrotic myelofibrosis

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