Transient myeloproliferative disorder (TMD), an acute leukemia-like disorder in neonates with Down's syndrome, is characterized by spontaneous regression of abnormal blast growth. Because proliferating blasts frequently express phenotypes of megakaryocytic lineage and, as a result, this disorder resembles acute megakaryoblastic leukemia (AMKL), it would be of interest to determine whether myelofibrosis, a common complication of AMKL, is also present in TMD. Pathologic observations of four autopsy cases of TMD showed that myelofibrosis was not present in any of them, whereas intralobular diffuse liver fibrosis was present in all of them. Laboratory data of four additional cases showed hepatic dysfunction in all of them, suggesting a close association between hepatic lesions and TMD. From these results, we propose a hypothesis that the abnormal blasts with megakaryocytic properties in TMD originate from the fetal liver and cause liver fibrosis, as AMKL cells are thought to cause myelofibrosis by producing collagen-stimulating cytokines in the bone marrow. This hypothesis also seems to explain some other unique aspects of TMD.

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