Introduction The World health organization WHO defines acute
The 2008 World health organization (WHO) defines acute leukemias with ambiguous lineage (ALAL) as those leukemias which show no clear differentiation towards either myeloid or lymphoid lineage. It includes acute undifferentiated leukemias which express no specific markers for both lineage and mixed phenotypic acute leukemia (MPAL) which express pramiracetam of both myeloid and lymphoid lineage to such a degree that it is impossible to assign a specific lineage .
Cytogenetic abnormalities strongly influence prognosis in cases of acute leukemias. Amongst patients with MPAL, the most commonly reported cytogenetic abnormalities are t (9;22) affecting the Abelson (ABL) oncogene, chromosome 11 abnormalities affecting the mixed leukemia lineage (MLL) gene and a complex karyotype with 3 or more abnormalities [2,3].
Trisomy 4 as the sole cytogenetic abnormality in acute leukemia is quite unusual. It has a reported prevalence of 0.0655% in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and is even less common in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) [4,5].
Case report A 50 year old hispanic female was admitted to our hospital with a 1 week history of headaches, palpitations and fatigue. Her prior medical history was unremarkable. She worked as a waitress and had no known environmental exposure to carcinogenic agents. On the day of admission, she had a brief syncopal episode. On examination she had a temperature of 38.2°C. Conjunctival and mucosal pallor was noted. Multiple 1–2cm freely mobile lymph nodes were palpable in the cervical, sub mental and sub occipital regions. Spleen tip was palpable. A petechial rash was noted extending from the feet to the thighs. Complete blood counts revealed a white cell count of 403,000/µr, hemoglobin of 3.2gm/dl and a platelet count of 6000/µl. Peripheral blood smear showed more than 50% of the nucleated cells to be leukemic blasts with high nuclear/cytoplasmic ratio, and minimally indented nuclei. Majority of circulating neutrophils showed dysplastic features in the form of hypo-lobate nuclei and hypo-granular cytoplasm (Fig. 1a). Platelets were markedly decreased in number. Kidney and liver functions were normal. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis was not consistent with leukemic meningitis. Bone marrow showed 100% cellularity of which 95% was infiltration by blasts. The blasts had a high nuclear/cytoplasmic ratio and indented nuclei. Auer rods were not present. Strong c-kit expression was noted by immunohisotchemistry (1b). Flow cytometry showed the blasts to express CD117, cytoplasmic CD3, CD2, CD7 and myeloperoxidase (MPO) (Fig. 2a–f).
Discussion The 2008 WHO criteria for MPAL relies on immunophenotypic demonstration of antigens of more than one lineage (myeloid, b lymphocytic or t lymphocytic), exclusion of AML cases with recurrent cytogenetic abnormalities and exclusion of AML with myelodysplasia (MDS) related changes . The expression of cytoplasmic CD3 and myeloperoxidase on the blasts of our patient support the diagnosis of MPAL. Recurrent cytogenetic abnormalities commonly seen in acute myeloid leukemia were excluded. The presence of significant number of hypo-granular and hypolobate neutrophils in our patients blood smear initially led to a suspicion of myelodysplastic syndrome related acute leukemia. However, we did not identify any significant dysplastic features in her erythroid or megakaryocytic series and there was no history of an antecedent hematological disease. The 2008 WHO criteria for AML with MDS related changes requires the demonstration of dysplastic features in 2 or more cells of myeloid series. This requirement was not met and our patient was diagnosed with MPAL. Cytogenetic findings are important determinants of prognosis in cases of acute leukemia and in some instances define specific subtypes of acute leukemias with distinct biology and clinical features. We performed a literature search and identified 4 previously published reports of trisomy 4 associated biphenotypic acute leukemia. These are presented in Table 1.