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Cellular types in acute leukaemia: diagnosis and significance
  1. F. W. Gunz,
  2. A. F. Burry
  1. Departments of Pathology, Christchurch, New Zealand
  2. Princess Margaret Hospitals, Christchurch, New Zealand


    Two independent observers, one using haematological and the other histological methods, analysed material from 68 patients with acute leukaemia. A correct diagnosis of the cell type of leukaemia was made in 70% of cases by haematological methods, and in 83% of those cases histological examination gave the same result. In two-thirds of the haematologically equivocal cases histological examination provided a positive diagnosis. The finally undiagnosed cases amounted to 12% of the total. The types so diagnosed could not be correlated with any clinical features.

    Differentiation of the cell types in acute leukaemia showed that children with granulocytic types of acute leukaemia survived for shorter periods than those with other types but in adults the type of cell had no significance when related to survival. In adults the immediate prognosis for all cell types was relatively bad. The unfavourable prognosis attached to a high initial leucocyte count was confirmed.

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    • 1 This investigation was supported in part by research grant no. C-3707 from the National Cancer Institute, U.S. Public Health Service.