The acute leukemias are characterized by the clonal proliferation and maturative blockage of hematopoietic cells, with diffuse substitution of the bone marrow by neoplasic cells. The acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a heterogeneous group of clonal disease in the hematopoietic tissue and predominantly affects people older than 60. The AML has eight morphologically different subtypes: AML M0 to M7. The diagnostic methods for identification of AML and subtypes classification are based on morphological, cytochemical and immunophenotyping patterns, besides genetic and molecular analyses. The diagnosis of leukemia is important to the lineage differentiation in AML or ALL and also for the identification of biphenotypic acute leukemia (BAL). The aim of this study was to perform a bibliographic review of AML, giving emphasis on laboratory methods useful for its identification and differentiation.
Acute myeloid leukemia; Cytochemistry; Immunophenotype; Cytogenetics; Molecular genetics