World Health Organization (WHO) 2016 Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) Classification Scheme

AML is a genetically and molecularly heterogeneous disease. In some cases, certain cytogenetic abnormalities directly correlate to morphologically and clinically distinct subsets of the disease. As a result, the WHO classification scheme utilizes cytogenetic and molecular changes to define distinct subtypes of AML, which have differences in disease outcomes.1-3

WHO 2016 AML Classification Scheme3*

Group Subgroups
AML with recurrent genetic abnormalities AML with t(8;21)(q22;q22.1); RUNX1-RUNX1T1
AML with inv(16)(p13.1q22) or t(16;16)(p13.1;q22); CBFβ/MYH11
Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) with PML/RARA
AML with t(9;11)(p21.3;q23.3); MLLT3-KMT2A
AML with t(6;9)(p23;q34.1); DEK-NUP214
AML with inv(3)(q21.3q26.2) or t(3;3)(q21.3;q26.2); GATA2, MECOM
AML (megakaryoblastic) with t(1;22)(p13.3;q13.3); RBM15-MKL1
Provisional entity: AML with BCR-ABL1
AML with mutated NPM1
AML with biallelic mutations of CEBPA
Provisional entity: AML with mutated RUNX1
AML with myelodysplasia-related changes  
Therapy-related myeloid neoplasms
AML, not otherwise specified AML with minimal differentiation
AML without maturation
AML with maturation
Acute myelomonocytic leukemia
Acute monoblastic/monocytic leukemia
Acute megakaryoblastic leukemia
Acute basophilic leukemia
Acute panmyelosis with myelofibrosis
Pure erythroid leukemia

In the 2016 classification, myeloblasts are always counted as a percentage of total marrow cells.

*Bold text represents updates in the WHO 2016 Classification Scheme.

References: 1. Leonard JP, Martin P, Roboz GJ. Practical implications of the 2016 revision of the World Health Organization classification of lymphoid and myeloid neoplasms and acute leukemia. J Clin Oncol. 2017;35(23):2708-2715. 2. Grimwade D, Hills RK. Independent prognostic factors for AML outcome. Hematology Am Soc Hematol Educ Program. 2009:385-395. 3. Arber DA, Orazi A, Hasserjian R, et al. The 2016 revision to the World Health Organization classification of myeloid neoplasms and acute leukemia. Blood. 2016;127(20):2391-2405.