Three hundred and twenty consecutive children with lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), treated on the Medical Research Council UKALL VIII schedule, had their Romanowsky stained diagnostic marrows reviewed for the presence of azurophil granules in blast cell cytoplasm. Twenty patients (7%) had greater than 5% blasts showing this feature; 19 had the cell phenotype of "common ALL." Male children and those with French-American-British (FAB) L2 morphology predominantly showed this feature. There was also a strong correlation between granularity and non-diffuse acid phosphate positivity, but no obvious difference between the 20 patients in their response to treatment emerged during a minimum follow up of 15 months. The "granular" variant occurs in around 7% of children with ALL, but has no clear prognostic importance. Morphologists should be aware of its existence and incidence to avoid confusion with acute myeloid leukaemia.
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