Transient Leukemia With Extreme Basophilia in a Phenotypically Normal Infant With Blast Cells Containing a Pseudodiploid Clone, 46,XY i(21)(q10)

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Purpose: Transient leukemia and extreme basophilia occurred in a phenotypically normal newborn with expression of isochromosome (21)(q10) in the blast population.Patients and Methods: A newborn boy was found to have an elevated white blood cell count of 120,800 with 33% blasts. The peripheral blood also contained elevated numbers of basophils and neutrophils with unusual staining properties. The blasts, evaluated by flow cytometry and light and electron microscopy, had the properties of megakaryoblasts. Cytogenetic studies revealed 46,XY karyotype in peripheral blood lymphocytes; however, analysis of the blast cells from the bone marrow showed an abnormal chromosome 21.Results: The blast cells in the peripheral blood disappeared by day 42 without chemotherapy. The red blood cell count and platelet count normalized by 2 months. Chromosomal analysis of skin fibroblasts and bone marrow after the disappearance of the blast cells in the peripheral blood showed a 46,XY phenotype.Conclusions: The leukemic cell of transient leukemia has the potential of forming cells of basophil and megakaryocyte lineages. Trisomy of the q arm of chromosome 21 contains sufficient genetic information for the development of transient leukemia in a phenotypically normal newborn.

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