Blood Journal
Leading the way in experimental and clinical research in hematology

The World Health Organization (WHO) classification of the myeloid neoplasms

  1. James W. Vardiman,
  2. Nancy Lee Harris, and
  3. Richard D. Brunning
  1. 1 From the Department of Pathology, University of Chicago, IL; Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston; and Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.


A World Health Organization (WHO) classification of hematopoietic and lymphoid neoplasms has recently been published. This classification was developed through the collaborative efforts of the Society for Hematopathology, the European Association of Hematopathologists, and more than 100 clinical hematologists and scientists who are internationally recognized for their expertise in hematopoietic neoplasms. For the lymphoid neoplasms, this classification provides a refinement of the entities described in the Revised European-American Lymphoma (REAL) Classification—a system that is now used worldwide. To date, however, there has been no published explanation or rationale given for the WHO classification of the myeloid neoplasms. The purpose of this communication is to outline briefly the WHO classification of malignant myeloid diseases, to draw attention to major differences between it and antecedent classification schemes, and to provide the rationale for those differences.

  • Submitted April 22, 2002.
  • Accepted May 30, 2002.
View Full Text