The WHO classification of hematological malignancies (2016)

In 2001, the WHO classification of hematological malignancies was introduced and revised in 2008 and 2016.

While the FAB classification is primarily based on morphological and cytochemical criteria, the WHO classification includes immunological, cytogenetic, molecular biological and clinical criteria. The idea is to define entities that differ by natural course of the disease, prognosis and treatment response. According to the cell line, the WHO-classification differentiates the following groups of hematopoietic and lymphatic neoplasms (provisional entities are not listed):


Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN)


Myeloid/lymphoid neoplasms with eosinophilia and rearrangement of PDGFRA, PDGFRB, or FGFR1, or with PCM1-JAK2

Myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasms (MDS/MPN)

Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS)

Acute myeloid leukemias (AML)

Acute leukemias of ambiguous lineage

B-lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma

T-lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma (T-ALL)


Mature B-cell neoplasms

Mature T and NK neoplasms

Hodgkin lymphoma

Posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorders (PTLD)

Histiocytic and dendritic cell neoplasms