Leukaemia classification: a study of the accuracy of diagnosis in 456 patients

Document Type





A panel of five haematologists has examined, without consultation or prior knowledge of the diagnosis, blood films and bone marrow smears from 456 patients with a diagnosis of leukaemia. A diagnostic classification which recognized various subtypes of acute myelogenous leukaemia was used but no attempt was made to subdivide acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Complete agreement with the initial diagnosis was low (56.4%) and was particularly poor (45.7%) when the patient had one of the forms of acute leukaemia. However, disagreements which would have involved the patient in a change of treatment were unusual (2.0%). We conclude that a high degree of diagnostic agreement for patients with leukaemia is unlikely from morphological classifications alone.

Publication (Name of Journal)

British Journal of Haematology