Acute panmyelosis with myelofibrosis: An entity distinct from acute megakaryoblastic leukemia

Attilio Orazi, Dennis P. O'Malley, Jiazhong Jiang, Gail H. Vance, Janice Thomas, Magdalena Czader, Wei Fang, Caroline An, Peter M. Banks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Scopus citations


The WHO criteria for diagnosing acute panmyelosis with myelofibrosis are somewhat distinct from those for acute megakaryoblastic leukemia. However, clinical and hematopathologic findings partially overlap. This has raised questions as to whether these are indeed separate, definable entities. To determine the potential importance of bone marrow biopsy supplemented by immunohistochemistry in distinguishing between these two conditions, we studied 17 bone marrow biopsies of well-characterized cases of acute panmyelosis with myelofibrosis (six cases) and acute megakaryoblastic leukemia (11 cases). We compared blast frequency, reticulin content, CD34 expression, and the degree of megakaryocytic differentiation of the blast cells in these two conditions. Our results demonstrate important differences. Acute panmyelosis with myelofibrosis is characterised by a multilineage myeloid proliferation with a less numerous population of blasts than acute megakaryoblastic leukemia (P<0.01). In the former condition, blasts are always positive with CD34, while in acute megakaryoblastic leukemia they express CD34 in 60% of the cases. The blasts in acute panmyelosis with myelofibrosis only rarely express megakaryocytic antigens. By contrast, acute megakaryoblastic leukemia has a significantly higher proportion of blasts expressing megakaryocytic antigens (P<0.01 with CD42b). Our results confirm that histology supplemented by immunohistochemistry permits the distinction of these conditions in routinely processed bone marrow biopsies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)603-614
Number of pages12
JournalModern Pathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2005


  • Acute megakaryoblastic leukemia
  • Acute panmyelosis myelofibrosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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