Globin chain synthesis ratios (alpha:beta + gamma) in leucocyte free reticulocytes from six of 11 patients with various myelodysplastic syndromes were high, ranging from 1.28 to 2.43. High ratios were also found for reticulocytes from two of four patients with acute myeloblastic leukaemia. Of the eight cases in which high ratios were found, seven were in patients who were either undergoing leukaemic transformation or who had already transformed. The reason for these findings is not known, but an understanding of the mechanism may give us further insight into the process of leukaemic transformation.
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