Acute promyelocytic leukaemia with PML-RARA fusion is usually associated with the t(15;17)(q24.1;q21.1) translocation but may also arise from complex or cryptic rearrangements. The fusion usually resides on chromosome 15 but occasionally on others. We describe a cryptic PML-RARA fusion within a novel chromosome 17 rearrangement. We performed interphase fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) using a dual-fusion PML-RARA probe, followed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for PML-RARA, karyotyping, and metaphase FISH using RARA break-apart, locus-specific, and subtelomere probes for chromosome 17. An 850K SNP microarray was also employed. Interphase and metaphase FISH showed atypical results involving a single PML-RARA fusion, no second fusion, but instead separate diminished PML and RARA signals. RT-PCR confirmed PML-RARA fusion; however, karyotyping detected only an altered chromosome 17. Metaphase FISH showed the single fusion and diminished 5′ RARA signals located unexpectedly in the subtelomeric short-arm and long-arm regions of the rearranged chromosome 17, respectively. SNP microarray revealed no copy number abnormality. This paediatric patient with PML-RARA fusion reflects a cryptic insertion that resides within a complex and novel chromosome 17 rearrangement. This rearrangement likely arose via 7 chromosome breaks with the insertion occurring first followed by sequential paracentric and then pericentric inversions.

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