ABSTRACT: There is no single category in the fourth edition (2008) of the World Health Organization (WHO) classification of myeloid neoplasms that encompasses all of the diseases referred to by some authors as the myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) "variants." Instead, they are considered as distinct entities and are distributed among various subgroups of myeloid neoplasms in the classification scheme. These relatively uncommon neoplasms do not meet the criteria for any so-called "classical" MPN (chronic myelogenous leukemia, polycythemia vera, primary myelofibrosis, or essential thrombocythemia) and, although some exhibit myelodysplasia, none meets the criteria for any myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). They are a diverse group of neoplasms ranging from fairly well-characterized disorders such as chronic myelomonocytic leukemia to rare and thus poorly characterized disorders such as chronic neutrophilic leukemia. Recently, however, there has been a surge of information regarding the genetic infrastructure of neoplastic cells in the MPN variants, allowing some to be molecularly defined. Nevertheless, in most cases, correlation of clinical, genetic, and morphologic findings is required for diagnosis and classification. The fourth edition of the WHO classification provides a framework to incorporate those neoplasms in which a genetic abnormality is a major defining criterion of the disease, such as those associated with eosinophilia and abnormalities of PDGFRA, PDGFRB, and FGFR1, as well as for those in which no specific genetic defect has yet been discovered and which remain clinically and pathologically defined. An understanding of the clinical, morphologic, and genetic features of the MPN variants will facilitate their diagnosis.
Hematology 01/2011; 2011:250-6. · 1.49 Impact Factor