Association of an inversion of chromosome 16 with abnormal marrow eosinophils in acute myelomonocytic leukemia. A unique cytogenetic-clinicopathological association

N Engl J Med. 1983 Sep 15;309(11):630-6. doi: 10.1056/NEJM198309153091103.


We identified 18 patients with an inversion of chromosome 16, inv(16)(p13q22), among 308 patients with newly diagnosed acute nonlymphocytic leukemia. Each of these 18 patients had acute myelomonocytic leukemia (M4 subtype) and eosinophils with distinctly abnormal morphology, cytochemical staining, and ultrastructure. These eosinophils constituted from 1 to 33 per cent of the nucleated marrow cells. In our series, every patient with acute myelomonocytic leukemia and abnormal eosinophils also had an abnormal chromosome 16. This subgroup of M4 patients had a good response to intensive therapy designed to induce remission; 13 of 17 treated patients entered a complete remission, and 10 remain in first remission. Thus, patients with an inversion of chromosome 16 appear to represent a unique cytogenetic-clinicopathological subtype of acute nonlymphocytic leukemia with a favorable prognosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bone Marrow / ultrastructure*
  • Chromosome Banding
  • Chromosome Inversion*
  • Chromosomes, Human, 16-18*
  • Eosinophils / ultrastructure*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Karyotyping
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / genetics*
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / ultrastructure
  • Male
  • Middle Aged