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Pathology

Key Information

Cell type, percent of cells in blast phase

Cytology Reports:

Pleural effusion (thoracentesis) or ascites (paracentesis)

Bone Marrow Biopsy

Also called bone marrow aspiration. Aspiration of bone marrow cells to determine involvement by tumor. This procedure is used to diagnose leukemia. Bilateral bone marrow biopsies and aspirations should be done for accurate assessment of blast content.

Key words

Aleukemic

The presence of malignant cells in the bone marrow with a normal or leukopenic count in the circulating blood.

Auer rods

Abnormal cytoplasmic granules which distinguish AML from ALL.

Blasts

Cells in an immature stage of cellular development; also called stem cells.

Blast crisis

For chronic leukemia, increased blast cells inthe peripheral blood accompanied by progressive splenomegaly and fever

-cytosis

Abnormal increase in the number of cells; leukocytosis (increased white cells); thrombocytosis (increased thrombocytes or platelets)

Leukostasis

Leukemic involvement of the lungs or central nervous system characterized by thickening or "sludging" of blood vessels due to the increased number of cells in the blood.

-penia

Abnormal decrease in the number of cells; leukocytopenia (decreased white cells); thrombocytopenia (decreased platelets); neutropenia (decreased granulocytes); pancytopenia (decrease in all types of cells).

Richter's syndrome

Large cell lymphoma which develops after treatment for CLL treatment-induced acute leukemia—a second, acute leukemia that develops after chemotherapy for chronic leukemia.

Click here to view the Pathology page of the Diagnostic Tests module for more information.