Poor survival in t(8;21) (q22;q22)-associated acute myeloid leukaemia with leukocytosis

R Billstrom, Bertil Johansson, Thoas Fioretos, Stanislaw Garwicz, C Malm, O Zettervall, Felix Mitelman

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Twenty-nine consecutive cases with a t(8;21)(q22;q22) in the bone marrow (BM) karyotype were retrospectively studied concerning clinical, morphological and cytogenetic data. All had been diagnosed as acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), 27 FAB subtype M2 and two M1, comprising 5% of all cytogenetically analysed AML during 18 yr. Auer rods were the most consistent t(8;21)-associated morphological finding and were demonstrated in 92% of the reviewed BM specimens, whereas BM eosinophilia was seen in only 24%. The median age was 53 yr, and 30% of the patients were > 60 yr old. Twenty-four patients had received induction chemotherapy; 22 of these (91%) entered a complete remission (CR). The median survival time in treated patients was 18 months. Leukocytosis at diagnosis (> or = 20 x 10(9)/1) was significantly (p = 0.01) associated with shorter survival time. All four children are still in first CR after 9-80 months. Seven cases (25%) developed granulocytic sarcomas, discovered either at diagnosis (n = 4) or at first relapse (n = 3). Secondary chromosome abnormalities were found in 62% of the cases, most often loss of a sex chromosome. The presence of such secondary aberrations did not correlate with any morphological or clinical characteristics, including survival. This first Scandinavian study of AML with t(8;21) corroborates the previous findings that these AMLs are characterized by distinct morphological features, a high frequency of CR and a striking tendency to develop extramedullary leukaemic manifestations. Leukocytosis at diagnosis indicates a less favourable prognosis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-52
JournalEuropean Journal of Haematology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1997

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Hematology


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