Medical electron microscopy : official journal of the Clinical Electron Microscopy Society of Japan

Electron microscopic and cytochemical studies of peroxidase-negative acute nonlymphoblastic leukemia.

PMID 11479774


Cytochemical and ultrastructural studies of 42 patients with acute nonlymphoblastic leukemia (ANLL) lacking myeloperoxidase as detected by light microscopy were performed. These ANLL patients were classified into minimally differentiated acute myeloid leukemia (AML-M0) (26 cases), mixed-lineage leukemia (9 cases), and acute undifferentiated leukemia (AUL) (7 cases). Ultrastructural morphology revealed blasts from AML-M0 as very immature myeloid cells, blasts from mixed-lineage leukemia as having partially lymphoid cell features, and blasts from AUL as undifferentiated blasts with myeloid nature to some extent. Ultrastructurally, myeloperoxidase activity was positive in 81% of AML-M0 patients and less positive in the mixed-lineage leukemia and AUL patients. The DNA in the nuclei of the AML-M0 blasts was dispersed, as was observed in the immature myeloid cells. Some of the blasts from the mixed-lineage leukemia patients showed condensation of DNA, resembling blasts from acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The distribution of periodate-reactive glycoconjugates revealed that glycogen particles were absent or, if present, very scanty in AML-M0. Most of the blasts from the AUL patients lacked glycogen particles, and the blasts from those with mixed-lineage leukemia contained clustered glycogen particles, as was observed in the blasts from all patients. These findings disclosed that three subtypes of immature ANLL showed different cytochemical and ultrastructural features in accordance with their immunophenotypical classification.

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