Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) is usually associated with a favorable outcome, but about 10% of patients tend to relapse. The genetic hallmark of APL is a balanced translocation involving chromosomes 15 and 17, and the PML-RARa gene fusion is found in more than 90% of these cases. Other chromosomal abnormalities are commonly found in APL, but their clinical significance has yet to be determined. Here we report a case of childhood APL that was studied by conventional cytogenetics along with molecular cytogenetic techniques. The patient showed a complex karyotype with an unusual cytogenetic rearrangement originating from two different abnormalities in a single chromosome 6. Our case is an exceptional example of a cryptic cytogenetic anomaly in APL and underscores the importance of detailed genetic characterization.

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