Variability of bone marrow biopsy reporting affects accuracy of diagnosis of myeloproliferative neoplasms: data from the ALLG MPN01 registry

Wei Yang Ng, Wendy N. Erber, Andrew Grigg, Karin Dunne, Andrew Perkins, Cecily Forsyth, David M. Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Philadelphia-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) are a heterogeneous group of overlapping bone marrow disorders defined by characteristic peripheral blood counts and bone marrow morphological findings in conjunction with recurrent somatic mutations. The accurate diagnosis and subclassification of MPN relies upon careful reporting of bone marrow morphology combined with ancillary information in an integrated pathology report. This co-operative trial group study ALLG MPN01 (ANZCTR:12613000138785), led by the Australasian Leukaemia & Lymphoma Group (ALLG), aimed to describe the current approach to diagnosis of MPN in routine practice. Specifically, we assessed the frequency with which bone marrow biopsies were performed, and the adherence of reporting pathologists to recommendations contained in the revised 2016 WHO classification pertaining to MPN. We reviewed the diagnosis of 152 patients from eight institutions who were enrolled in a national MPN registry of the ALLG between 2010 and 2016. The ALLG MPN01 registry is now closed to recruitment. Key features were extracted from pathology reports provided to the registry. Bone marrow biopsies were performed in 112/152 cases (74%). The pathological information entered was concordant with the stated clinical diagnosis in 75/112 cases (67%). The main reasons for discordant results were incomplete descriptions of megakaryocyte topography and morphology, inconsistent grading of reticulin fibrosis, and failure to integrate the available morphological and ancillary clinicopathological information. In this retrospective audit, 26% of MPN patients did not undergo a diagnostic bone marrow biopsy. In those who did, the specific MPN subtype may not have been reported correctly in 33% of cases, as evidenced by inconsistent features reported or insufficient information to assess. A more standardised approach to bone marrow reporting is required to ensure accuracy of MPN diagnoses and consistent reporting to cancer registries and clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-80
Number of pages6
Issue number1
Early online date8 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


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