Medscape is available in 5 Language Editions – Choose your Edition here.


Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Staging 

  • Author: Karen Seiter, MD; Chief Editor: Koyamangalath Krishnan, MD, FRCP, FACP  more...
Updated: Apr 14, 2016

Classification for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

The World Health Organization (WHO) classifications[1] and French-American-British (FAB)[2] for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) are provided below.

WHO classification of acute lymphoblastic leukemia

B lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma:

B lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma, NOS

B lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma with recurrent genetic abnormalities

  • B lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma with t(9;22)(q34;q11.2), BCR-ABL1
  • B lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma with t(v;11q23); MLL rearranged
  • B lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma with t(12;21)(p13;q22) TEL-AML1 (ETV6-RUNX1)
  • B lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma with hyperdiploidy
  • B lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma with hypodiploidy
  • B lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma with t(5;14)(q31;q32) IL3-IGH
  • B lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma with t(1;19)(q23;p13.3) TCF3-PBX1

T lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma:

FAB classification of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (for historical purposes)

  • ALL-L1: Small cells with homogeneous nuclear chromatin, a regular nuclear shape, small or no nucleoli, scanty cytoplasm, and mild to moderate basophilia
  • ALL-L2: Large, heterogeneous cells with variable nuclear chromatin, an irregular nuclear shape, 1 or more nucleoli, a variable amount of cytoplasm, and variable basophilia
  • ALL-L3: Large, homogeneous cells with fine, stippled chromatin; regular nuclei; prominent nucleoli; and abundant, deeply basophilic cytoplasm. The most distinguishing feature is prominent cytoplasmic vacuolation
Contributor Information and Disclosures

Karen Seiter, MD Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Oncology/Hematology, New York Medical College

Karen Seiter, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Association for Cancer Research, American College of Physicians, American Society of Hematology

Disclosure: Received honoraria from Novartis for speaking and teaching; Received consulting fee from Novartis for speaking and teaching; Received honoraria from Celgene for speaking and teaching.

Specialty Editor Board

Jasmeet Anand, PharmD, RPh Adjunct Instructor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Christopher D Braden, DO Hematologist/Oncologist, Chancellor Center for Oncology at Deaconess Hospital

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Koyamangalath Krishnan, MD, FRCP, FACP Dishner Endowed Chair of Excellence in Medicine, Professor of Medicine, James H Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University

Koyamangalath Krishnan, MD, FRCP, FACP is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine, American Society of Hematology, Royal College of Physicians

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

  1. Bennett JM, Catovsky D, Daniel MT, et al. Proposals for the classification of the acute leukaemias. French-American-British (FAB) co-operative group. Br J Haematol. 1976 Aug. 33(4):451-8. [Medline].

  2. Vardiman JW, Thiele J, Arber DA, et al. The 2008 revision of the World Health Organization (WHO) classification of myeloid neoplasms and acute leukemia: rationale and important changes. Blood. 2009 Jul 30. 114(5):937-51. [Medline].

All material on this website is protected by copyright, Copyright © 1994-2016 by WebMD LLC. This website also contains material copyrighted by 3rd parties.