Bone marrow core biopsy in 508 consecutive patients with chronic myeloid leukemia: Assessment of potential value

Juliana E. Hidalgo-Lόpez, Rashmi Kanagal-Shamanna, Andrés E. Quesada, Zimu Gong, Wei Wang, Shimin Hu, L. Jeffrey Medeiros, Roland L. Bassett, Elizabeth d’Orcy, C. Cameron Yin, Jorge Cortes, Elias J. Jabbour, Hagop M. Kantarjian, Carlos E. Bueso-Ramos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The diagnosis of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is based on characteristic clinical and laboratory findings and the presence of BCR/ABL1 in the blood and/or bone marrow (BM). The utility of BM core biopsy in the workup of patients with CML has been questioned. METHODS: The potential added value of BM biopsy versus aspiration in the workup of a single-institution series of 508 patients with CML at their initial presentation was systematically assessed. BM biopsy was considered essential when it was needed to establish the disease phase, often because blast counts derived from aspirate smears were misleading because the biopsy specimen was more representative of the disease. BM biopsy was considered helpful if it was needed for other nonessential reasons. RESULTS: In 127 patients (25%), BM biopsy was either essential (109 patients) or helpful (18 patients). Patients with accelerated-phase (AP) or blast-phase (BP) disease often required a biopsy related to essential reasons. High-grade myelofibrosis (MF) was more frequent in patients with AP/BP disease than patients with chronic-phase disease (P =.0005), and the identification of BP disease required a BM biopsy assessment in 75% of the patients (P =.001). A follow-up BM evaluation more often yielded inadequate aspirates in patients with inadequate BM aspirates at the time of their initial diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS: BM core biopsy remains valuable in the workup of 25% of patients with CML because it facilitates identification of the disease phase or MF. The initial grade of MF is associated with the disease stage and outcome after therapy. BM biopsy is, therefore, indicated for patients with CML who have AP/BP disease or other findings suggestive of progressive disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3849-3855
Number of pages7
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • accelerated phase
  • blast phase
  • bone marrow biopsy
  • chronic myeloid leukemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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