Developmental differences in megakaryocyte size in infants and children

Deborah A. Fuchs, Sarah G. McGinn, Carlos L. Cantu, Robert R. Klein, Martha C. Sola-Visner, Lisa M. Rimsza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Developmental differences in megakaryocytes between neonates and adults have been described. However, the age at which megakaryocytes make a transition to an adult phenotype is unknown. Small megakaryocytes are often described as "dysplastic" in the pathology literature. Thus, recognizing the normal features of megakaryocytes at different ages has diagnostic implications. We identified 72 samples from 61 patients, aged 3 days to 80 years, who had negative staging based on bone marrow examination. Megakaryocyte diameters, as highlighted with anti-CD61, were measured. A scatter plot of megakaryocyte size by age revealed a normal distribution of sizes at the youngest ages, with a shift to multiple peaks starting at 24 months indicating that neonates have megakaryocytes of uniform sizes, which diverge into separate clusters of smaller and larger cells beginning at 2 years; this is followed by an overall shift toward larger megakaryocytes at age 4 years. These observations have direct implications for the evaluation of bone marrow megakaryocytes in young children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-145
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of clinical pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • Bone marrow
  • CD61
  • Megakaryocyte
  • Thrombocytopenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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