The fusion transcripts of MLL rearrangement [MLL(+)] in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and their clinicohematologic correlation have not be well characterized in the previous studies. We used Southern blot analysis to screen MLL(+) in de novo AML. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction was used to detect the common MLL fusion transcripts. cDNA panhandle PCR was used to identify infrequent or unknown MLL partner genes. MLL(+) was identified in 114 (98 adults) of 988 AML patients. MLL fusion transcripts comprised of 63 partial tandem duplication of MLL (MLL-PTD), 14 MLL-AF9, 9 MLL-AF10, 9 MLL-ELL, 8 MLL-AF6, 4 MLL-ENL and one each of MLL-AF1, MLL-AF4, MLL-MSF, MLL-LCX, MLL-LARG, MLL-SEPT6 and MLL-CBL. The frequency of MLL-PTD was 7.1% in adults and 0.9% in children (P<0.001). 11q23 abnormalities were detected in 64% of MLL/t11q23 and in none of MLL-PTD by conventional cytogenetics. There were no differences in remission rate, event-free survival and overall survival between adult MLL-PTD and MLL/t11q23 groups. Adult patients had a significantly poorer outcome than children. The present study showed that cDNA panhandle PCR can identify all rare or novel MLL partner genes. MLL-PTD was rare in childhood AML. MLL(+) adults had a poor outcome with no difference in survival between MLL-PTD and MLL/t11q23 groups.