Cytologic and cytogenetic results obtained from patients fulfilling the FAB criteria for the diagnosis of acute nonlymphocytic leukemia (ANLL) of megakaryocytic lineage (ANLL-M7) are reported. Eleven cases were de novo ANLL-M7, of whom three presented with acute myelofibrosis. Four cases were megakaryoblastic transformations of chronic myelogenous leukemia (two cases), refractory anemia with excess of blasts (one case), and polycythemia vera (one case). Four patients showed a minority of granular blasts, with occasional Auer rods in one. Positive myeloperoxidase and/or sudan black-B stainings and CD13 positivity in these cases were consistent with the presence of a myeloid involvement. Morphologic evidence of associated myelodysplastic features was detected in all evaluable patients with de novo ANLL-M7. These cytologic findings indicate that ANLL-M7 may frequently represent a multilineage proliferation. Cytogenetic studies revealed -7/7q- and +8, alone or in combination with additional aberrations, in three cases each. Rearrangements involving bands 3q21 or 3q26 were seen in two patients and +21, as an additional aberration, in one. Other structural rearrangements all observed in a single patient were inv(16)(p13q22) at megakaryoblastic relapse with bone marrow eosinophilia, t(13;20)(q13 or 14;q11), del(20)(q11), and der(7)t(7;17)(p14;q22). Most breakpoints of these aberrations are located at bands frequently rearranged in malignant myeloid stem cell disorders. A review of 31 cases of the literature showed a frequent occurrence of -7/7q- and -5/5q- in ANLL- M7. Many of the chromosome aberrations so far described in ANLL-M7 appear to be shared by a spectrum of myeloid neoplasias and may be related to mechanisms conferring proliferative advantage to undifferentiated stem cells.

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