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Blood. 1988 Aug;72(2):402-7.

Leukemias with megakaryoblastic involvement: clinical, hematologic, and immunologic characteristics.

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  • 1Servicio de Hematologia, Hospital Clinico Universitario, Salamanca, Spain.


The clinical, hematologic, and phenotypic features of 28 patients with acute leukemia with megakaryocytic involvement (AMKL) were analyzed. The prevalence of this type of leukemia in the entire series was 11.6%, with a higher incidence among patients with acute transformation of a previous myeloproliferative disorder (MPD) (24%) than among the transformed myelodysplastic syndrome (13%) patients. The incidence in the "de novo" ANLL was 8% and 16% among secondary leukemias. The presence of bone marrow fibrosis together with low WBC and normal or increased platelet counts despite a severe anemia are the most relevant features in these patients who otherwise displayed an apparently poor prognosis. Megakaryoblasts were morphologically recognized more frequently in the acute transformations of MPD than in de novo ANLL. Only two cases were considered pure AMKL, and in the remaining 26 patients, megakaryoblasts coexisted with other granulomonocytic and/or erythroid populations. Antiglycoprotein IIIa (anti-GPIIIa) (C17) and anti-GPIIb/IIIa (CDw41-, J15-) antibodies are probably the best markers for AMKL, although the monoclonal antibody against GPIX (FMC25) was also positive in a majority of cases but in a lower percentage of cells. On the other hand, megakaryoblasts were generally negative for granulocytic or monocytic markers (CD13, CD14, CD15); the expression of HLA-DR antigens in these cells was variable. Our present results indicate that megakaryoblastic involvement is more common than previously recognized. This is true not only in acute transformed leukemias but also in de novo ANLL. Although the diagnosis of these cases should be based on megakaryocytic markers, it is often possible to suspect a diagnosis according to certain clinical and hematologic features.

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