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November 1987

Predictors of Bone Marrow Metastases

Arch Intern Med. 1987;147(11):2057. doi:10.1001/archinte.1987.00370110185034

To the Editor.  —We found the article by Hamrick and Murgo1 interesting and informative. Prediction of carcinomatous involvement of the bone marrow without performance of a bone marrow biopsy remains a problem for clinicians dealing with cancer. If less invasive means of determining bone marrow involvement could be found, it would save our patients from having to undergo the discomfort of a bone marrow biopsy.In support of Hamrick and Murgo's findings, we would like to point out a similar investigation2 looking for predictors of bone marrow metastases from malignant diseases, including small-cell lung carcinoma. Stepwise discriminate analysis in that report2 found four parameters that strongly correlated with bone marrow involvement: the presence of a leukoerythroblastic blood pattern on peripheral blood smear, a serum lactate dehydrogenase concentration over 500 U/L, a platelet count under 100 × 109/L (100 000/mm3) and bone pain. Four parameters

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