Medical Specialty >> Oncology

Doctors Lounge - Oncology Answers

Back to Oncology Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Leukemia

Question: Bone Marrow Results - Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia?

 HockeySwimMom - Mon Nov 17, 2008 7:51 pm

My question is could the following bone marrow results indicate anything other than Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia? Since a FiSH study was done and did not show the Philadelphia chromosone does that rule out CML? Should I request a PCR test to be sure? Following are the bone marrow results:
This is straight off the pathologists report:





COMMENTS: The findings of myeloid hyperplasia, small megakaryocytes, and sea-blue histiocytes raises the possibility of chronic myelogenous leukemia. Although rare in patients of this this age, testing for BCR/ABL has been requested and will be reporteed separately.

Sea-blue histiocytes can also be seen in storage diseases, mostly notably in Gaucher disease. If there is splenomegally, or other manifestations of storage disease then additional testing may be of benefit. However, as a findings, sea-blue histiocytes can be seen in the amrrow where there is high metabolic turn over. The marrow findings could be accounted for by aggressive steroid therapy (increased mature neutrophils, sea blue histiocytes). Clinical correlation is recommended.

The lack of iron stores could be correlated with serum studies of iron status.

The FISH study results:
Left Posterior Iliac Crest Bone Marrow B08-162: NOT DETECTED

Total number of cells counted: 200

% of cells showing dual fusion: 0.0%

Comment: There is no evidence for the BCR/ABL fusion associated with the translocation 9.22 (Philadelphia Chromosone) in the cells examined, using the BCR/ABL dual fusion probe system from Vysis, Inc.

Wonder if the abnormal bone marrow results can point to something else, and can I rule out CML because of the FISH study results?
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Thu Nov 20, 2008 8:38 pm

User avatar Hello,
CML is a disease characterized by:
1- Unexplained elevated WBC count, usually more than 25 × 109/L and more frequently > 100 ×109/L.
Other laboratory findings include high serum levels of vitamin B12 and transcobalamin and lactic dehydrogenase (LDH).

2- The bone marrow examination shows:
- a hypercellular marrow, with cellularity of 75%-90%,
- myeloid-to-erythroid ratio is usually 10-30:1.
- increase megakaryocytes which are smaller than the typical normal megakaryocytes may be seen in some early stages.
3- Philadelphia chromosome in CML represents a translocation between the long arms of chromosomes 9 and 22 and is found in almost all CML patients (a hallmark).

However, 5-10% 0f cases are Philadelphia negative, of them 40% can turn positive if studied with FISH/ or PCR techniques.

This small subset of patients who are found to be Philadelphia negative should be excluded for other disease like amyeloproliferative disorder MPD or myelodysplasia MDS.
Other clonal markers like certain types of JAK kinase mutations analysis would be helpful.

Sea-blue histiocytes are seen in diseases in which there is bone marrow hyperplasia and increased turn over, like CML, MPD, MDS, etc.

I would advise you to follow up with your hematologists.
Please keep us updated.
Best regards.
 HockeySwimMom - Sat Nov 22, 2008 4:51 pm

The hematologist told us that he does not think it is CML because of the FISH study results. So he has sent us to an Infectious Disease Specialist at UCLA. Appointment not until Dec 8, so I am just curious if I need to seek another hematologists opinion on the possible CML, or wait to talk to the Infectious Disease Specialist. Just don't want things to progress poorly by waiting.
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:54 pm

User avatar Hello,
Thank you for updating us.

I agree with your doctor, it is not common to see a Philadelphia negative CML.
So, other causes should be excluded.

I would advise you to follow his advise and lets see what the infectious disease specialist would recommend.

Please keep us updated.
Best regards.

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us