Despite improvements in our understanding of the molecular basis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the association between genetic mutations with morphological dysplasia remains unclear. In this study, we evaluated and scored dysplasia in bone marrow (BM) specimens from 168 patients with de novo AML; none of these patients had cytogenetic abnormalities according to the 2016 World Health Organization Classification. We then performed targeted sequencing of diagnostic BM aspirates for recurrent mutations associated with myeloid malignancies. We found that cohesin pathway mutations [q (FDRadjusted P)=0.046] were associated with a higher degree of megakaryocytic dysplasia and STAG2 mutations were marginally associated with greater myeloid lineage dysplasia (q=0.052). Frequent megakaryocytes with separated nuclear lobes were more commonly seen among cases with cohesin pathway mutations (q=0.010) and specifically in those with STAG2 mutations (q=0.010), as well as NPM1 mutations (q=0.022 when considering the presence of any vs. no megakaryocytes with separated nuclear lobes). RAS pathway mutations (q=0.006) and FLT3-ITD (q=0.006) were significantly more frequent in cases without evaluable erythroid cells. In univariate analysis of the 153 patients treated with induction chemotherapy, NPM1 mutations were associated with longer event-free survival (EFS) (P=0.042), while RUNX1 (P=0.042), NF1 (P=0.040), frequent micromegakaryocytes (P=0.018) and presence of a subclone (P=0.002) were associated with shorter EFS. In multivariable modeling, NPM1 was associated with longer EFS, while presence of a subclone and frequent micromegakaryocytes remained significantly associated with shorter EFS.
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