The presence of increased multinucleated megakaryocytes (aka osteoclast-like) is considered a dysplastic feature in myelodysplastic syndrome; however, its clinical significance in isolation is uncertain. Herein, we report the clinicopathologic and genetic features of 18 such cases of 40,539 bone marrow biopsies spanning 10 years. All 18 patients had ≥ 25% multinucleated megakaryocytes in otherwise normal bone marrow biopsies, which were evaluated for plasma cell neoplasms (n = 9), lymphoma (n = 4), or anemia/neutropenia (n = 5). None of the 17 patients tested showed acquired cytogenetic abnormalities. Sixteen patients underwent targeted gene panel next-generation sequencing: 9 patients had no pathogenic mutations; 3 harbored a single pathogenic mutation with variant allele frequencies of 7.5%, 7.6%, and 10.7%, likely representing clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential; 1 had 2 pathogenic mutations, 1 of which had a variant allele frequency > 20%. Fourteen of 18 patients had a follow-up period > 6 months (median: 36.5 mo, range: 7 to 110 mo) and no patients developed a new-onset cytopenia, a progressive cytopenia, or a myeloid neoplasm. The patient with 2 mutations had persistent anemia, worrisome for an emerging MDS. However, given the absence of thrombocytopenia, increased multinucleated megakaryocytes in this patient could be an unrelated incidental finding. Our study indicates that increased multinucleated megakaryocytes as an isolated finding is a rare phenomenon, and this sole morphologic finding is not diagnostic of myelodysplastic syndrome. Diagnostic approaches in the presence of increased multinucleated megakaryocytes are proposed based on different clinical and pathologic scenarios.
- Conventional chromosome analysis
- Multinucleated megakaryocytes
- Myelodysplastic syndrome
- Next-generation sequencing
- Osteoclast-like megakaryocytes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine