Classification of AML

  • Based on the genetic changes and increased numbers of AML cells, the World Health Organisation (WHO) classified AML into the four main groups in Table 3. The incidence in AML patients is also included.

Table 3          Classification of AML

AML group Incidence in patients
AML, with genetic abnormalities 50%
AML, with myelodysplasia-related changes 30%
AML, after prior treatment with chemotherapy 10%
AML, not otherwise specified 15%
  • Myelodysplasia is a group of blood cancers where the blood cells are immature and abnormal. In myelodysplasia, the bone marrow doesn’t make enough blood cells.
  • The group AML, not otherwise specified includes all the cases of AML that do not fit into the other groups. These are shown in Table 4.

Table 4          Classification of AML, not otherwise specified 

WHO classification
AML with minimal differentiation
AML without maturation
AML with maturation
Acute myelomonocytic leukaemia
Acute monoblastic/monocytic leukaemia
Acute erythroid leukaemia
Acute megakaryoblastic leukaemia
Acute basophilic leukaemia
Acute panmyelosis with fibrosis
  • The difference between the various types of leukaemia included in AML, not otherwise specified is complex. It is detailed in the WHO book of Classification Tumours of Haematopoietic and Lymphoid Tissues.
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