Acute megakaryoblastic leukemia in childhood

Eric Sariban, Constance Oliver, Lawrence Corash, Jeffrey Cossman, Jackie Whang‐Peng, Elaine S. Jaffe, Harvey R. Gralnick, David G. Poplack

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41 Citations (Scopus)


Routine morphologic and cytochemical study of the leukemic cells of a 13‐month‐old child did not permit definitive determination of either a lymphoid or a myeloid cell origin. However, ultrastructural cytochemical analysis revealed platelet peroxidase (PPO) reactivity. The malignant cells expressed PPO in both unfixed and fixed preparations. PPO was observed in the perinuclear space and reticulum but not in the Golgi saccules. In a 1% glutaraldehyde, 1% formaldehyde solution known to inhibit PPO but not myeloperoxidase, no reaction product was observed. The demonstration of PPO activity in these undifferentiated cells established their megakaryoblastic lineage. Further studies including DNA flow cytometry confirmed that these cells were megakaryoblasts. This study demonstrates that megakaryoblastic malignancy may occur as an acute leukemia of childhood and emphasizes the value of ultrastructural cytochemistry in cases of acute leukemia which defy routine classification. Abnormalities of chromosome 21 were present in our patient as in four previous cases of megakaryoblastic leukemia in childhood. The nonrandomness of chromosome 21 involvement in this disease should therefore be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1423-1428
Number of pages6
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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