Reporting bone marrow biopsies for myelodysplastic neoplasms and acute myeloid leukaemia incorporating WHO 5th edition and ICC 2022 classification systems: ALLG/RCPA joint committee consensus recommendations

Pathology. 2024 Jun;56(4):459-467. doi: 10.1016/j.pathol.2024.02.002. Epub 2024 Mar 19.


The classification of myeloid neoplasms continues to evolve along with advances in molecular diagnosis, risk stratification and treatment of disease. An approach for disease classification has been grounded in international consensus that has facilitated understanding, identification and management of molecularly heterogeneous entities, as well as enabled consistent patient stratification into clinical trials and clinical registries over time. The new World Health Organization (WHO) and International Consensus Classification (ICC) Clinical Advisory Committee releasing separate classification systems for myeloid neoplasms in 2022 precipitated some concern amongst haematopathology colleagues both locally and internationally. While both classifications emphasise molecular disease classification over the historical use of morphology, flow cytometry and cytogenetic based diagnostic methods, notable differences exist in how morphological, molecular and cytogenetic criteria are applied for defining myelodysplastic neoplasms (MDS) and acute myeloid leukaemias (AML). Here we review the conceptual advances, diagnostic nuances, and molecular platforms required for the diagnosis of MDS and AML using the new WHO and ICC 2022 classifications. We provide consensus recommendations for reporting bone marrow biopsies. Additionally, we address the logistical challenges encountered implementing these changes into routine laboratory practice in alignment with the National Pathology Accreditation Advisory Council reporting requirements for Australia and New Zealand.

Keywords: International Consensus Conference; Myelodysplasia; World Health Organization; acute myeloid leukaemia.

Publication types

  • Guideline
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Biopsy
  • Bone Marrow* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute* / classification
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute* / diagnosis
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute* / pathology
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes* / classification
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes* / diagnosis
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes* / pathology
  • World Health Organization