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Types of Acute Myeloid Leukemia

One system that can be used to classify acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is the French-American-British (FAB) system. There are nine subtypes of AML in the FAB system. They are called M0 through M7, with two M4 subtypes. The subtypes are based on the type of cell from which the leukemia developed and how mature the cells are. This is based largely on how the leukemia cells look under the microscope. This system can give your doctor some sense of your prognosis, but there are other prognostic factors that can affect your outlook as well, such as your age and chromosome and gene changes in the leukemia cells. 

  • M0 (Undifferentiated AML). About 5% of people with AML have this subtype.

  • M1 (Myeloblastic leukemia with minimal maturation). About 10% of people with AML have this subtype.

  • M2 (Myeloblastic leukemia with maturation). About 30% to 45% of people with AML have this subtype.

  • M3 (Promyelocytic leukemia). About 5% of people with AML have this subtype.

  • M4 (Myelomonocytic leukemia). About 10% to 20% of people with AML have this subtype.

  • M4eo (Myelomonocytic leukemia with eosinophilia). About 5% of people with AML have this subtype.

  • M5 (Monocytic leukemia). About 10% of people with AML have this subtype.

  • M6 (Erythroid leukemia). About 5% of people with AML have this subtype.

  • M7 (Megakaryoblastic leukemia). About 5% of people with AML have this subtype.

A newer, slightly more complicated system for classifying AML has been developed by the World Health Organization (WHO). Along with the cell type and maturity of the cells, this system takes into account other factors, such as chromosome changes in the cells and whether or not the leukemia is the result of previous cancer treatments. Not all doctors may be using the WHO system yet, so ask your doctor which system he or she is using and what it means in your case.

Online Medical Reviewer: Alteri, Richard, M.D.
Online Medical Reviewer: Fincannon, Joy, RN, MN
Last Review Date: 12/23/2013
© 2013 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare provider's instructions.

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