The diagnosis of BCR/ABL-negative chronic myeloproliferative diseases (CMPD): a comprehensive approach based on morphology, cytogenetics, and molecular markers

Ann Hematol. 2008 Jan;87(1):1-10. doi: 10.1007/s00277-007-0403-6. Epub 2007 Oct 16.


Recent years showed significant progress in the molecular characterization of the chronic myeloproliferative disorders (CMPD) which are classified according to the WHO classification of 2001 as polycythemia vera (PV), chronic idiopathic myelofibrosis (CIMF), essential thrombocythemia (ET), CMPD/unclassifiable (CMPD-U), chronic neutrophilic leukemia, and chronic eosinophilic leukemia (CEL)/hypereosinophilic syndrome, all to be delineated from BCR/ABL-positive chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). After 2001, the detection of the high frequency of the JAK2V617F mutation in PV, CIMF, and ET, and of the FIP1L1-PDGFRA fusion gene in CEL further added important information in the diagnosis of CMPD. These findings also enhanced the importance of tyrosine kinase mutations in CMPD and paved the way to a more detailed classification and to an improved definition of prognosis using also novel minimal residual disease (MRD) markers. Simultaneously, the broadening of therapeutic strategies in the CMPD, e.g., due to reduced intensity conditioning in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and the introduction of tyrosine kinase inhibitors in CML, in CEL, and in other ABL and PDGRFB rearrangements, increased the demands to diagnostics. Therefore, today, a multimodal diagnostic approach combining cytomorphology, cytogenetics, and individual molecular methods is needed in BCR/ABL-negative CMPD. A stringent diagnostic algorithm for characterization, choice of treatment, and monitoring of MRD will be proposed in this review.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Chromosomes, Human / genetics
  • Cytogenetics*
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Chronic, Atypical, BCR-ABL Negative / diagnosis*
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Chronic, Atypical, BCR-ABL Negative / genetics*
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Chronic, Atypical, BCR-ABL Negative / metabolism


  • Biomarkers, Tumor