• CD7;
  • acute myeloid leukaemia;
  • cytogenetics

Debate exists over whether CD7 expression indicates an unfavourable prognosis in de novo acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). Meanwhile, the type of cytogenetics is a strong prognostic factor in AML. We analysed 256 de novo adult AML cases and found that the proportion of CD7+ cases increased stepwise from the cases with favourable cytogenetics to the cases with intermediate and unfavourable cytogenetics (3 out of 69 cases, 51 out of 140 cases and 25 out of 47 cases respectively, P < 0·0001). CD7-positivity adversely affected the survival only in the cases with unfavourable cytogenetics (P < 0·03). We recommend that CD7 expression in AML be interpreted in association with the cytogenetics.