Context: - A complete diagnosis of acute leukemia requires knowledge of clinical information combined with morphologic evaluation, immunophenotyping and karyotype analysis, and often, molecular genetic testing. Although many aspects of the workup for acute leukemia are well accepted, few guidelines have addressed the different aspects of the diagnostic evaluation of samples from patients suspected to have acute leukemia.
Objective: - To develop a guideline for treating physicians and pathologists involved in the diagnostic and prognostic evaluation of new acute leukemia samples, including acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, and acute leukemias of ambiguous lineage.
Design: - The College of American Pathologists and the American Society of Hematology convened a panel of experts in hematology and hematopathology to develop recommendations. A systematic evidence review was conducted to address 6 key questions. Recommendations were derived from strength of evidence, feedback received during the public comment period, and expert panel consensus.
Results: - Twenty-seven guideline statements were established, which ranged from recommendations on what clinical and laboratory information should be available as part of the diagnostic and prognostic evaluation of acute leukemia samples to what types of testing should be performed routinely, with recommendations on where such testing should be performed and how the results should be reported.
Conclusions: - The guideline provides a framework for the multiple steps, including laboratory testing, in the evaluation of acute leukemia samples. Some aspects of the guideline, especially molecular genetic testing in acute leukemia, are rapidly changing with new supportive literature, which will require on-going updates for the guideline to remain relevant.