Rapid diagnosis of mixed phenotype acute leukemia after identifying a blood histogram abnormality

Rie Saito, Hisayuki Yokoyama, Kuniaki Meguro, Yusuke Ohba, Yoshihiko Izumi, Shinichiro Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A 38-year-old woman was suffering from back, right arm, and ankle joint pain, and visited our emergency department. Upon admission, the white blood cell (WBC) count was high (11,700/µL), and low numbers of red blood cells (2.21 × 106/µL) and platelets (PLTs) (42,000/µL) were observed. A PLT histogram showed an abnormally shaped peak at around 20–30 fL, suggesting the presence of giant PLTs or PLT aggregation. The WBC histogram showed abnormal elevation at 35 fL and around 100 fL, suggesting abnormal cells including nucleated red blood cells. A peripheral blood smear was prepared, and morphology was examined. As a result, blasts (4%) including many orthochromatic erythroblasts (48/100 WBCs) were observed. Acute leukemia was suspected, and the patient was transferred the next day to a hospital with a hematology department. Bone marrow aspiration revealed that 99% of cells were blasts positive for B lymphoid lineage markers and myeloperoxidase. The patient was diagnosed with mixed phenotype lineage acute leukemia, treated immediately, and achieved remission. Thus, careful observation of histogram abnormalities of an automatic blood cell analyzer is important for rapid diagnosis of acute leukemia.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00101
JournalPractical Laboratory Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Nov


  • Automatic blood cell analyzer
  • Histogram
  • Mixed phenotype acute leukemia


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