JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Myelodysplastic syndromes, chronic myeloproliferative diseases, and myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative diseases

James W Vardiman
Seminars in Diagnostic Pathology 2003, 20 (3): 154-79
14552429
This article reviews the major diagnostic criteria for the myelodysplastic syndromes, chronic myeloproliferative diseases, and myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative diseases. Perhaps the most important message this article intends to convey is that the proper diagnosis and classification of myelodysplastic syndromes, chronic myeloproliferative diseases, and myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative diseases requires a multidisciplinary approach that correlates morphologic findings with clinical, genetic, and other laboratory information. Thus, the pathologist is central to the diagnosis of these disorders. Not only do pathologists have the morphologic skills to interpret peripheral blood and bone marrow aspirate smears and bone marrow biopsy specimens properly, but they often are responsible for interpretation of flow-cytometry and molecular genetic data as well. Pathologists are therefore in the best position to determine whether all the individual pieces of data fit together for the diagnosis under consideration. An additional important theme in the paper is that "well-prepared" blood and bone marrow aspirate smears and "adequate, well-processsed" bone marrow biopsy specimens are essential for the diagnosis. In the author's opinion, inadequate specimens usually account for most of the difficulties encountered in the proper diagnosis of these diseases. It is hoped that when an excellent specimen is available, the guidelines contained in this article may provide the pathologist with assistance in arriving at the most appropriate diagnosis.

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