Other Known Aliases – none
Definition – Auer rods are azurophilic granules found in the cytoplasm of leukemic blast cells and are composed of fused lyosomes.
Clinical Significance – These are found in high grade myelodysplastic and myeloproliferative syndromes and are pathognomonic for acute myelogenous leukemia (AML).
History – Named after John Auer (1875-1948), an American physiologist and pharmacologist, who held appointments at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, and the St. Louis School of Medicine. He first described these structures in a 21yo male who was suffering from a sore throat and nosebleed and admitted to Sir William Osler’s service for work-up. He published this finding in 1906, but were first described by a colleague of his at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Thomas McCrae. Interestingly, they both erroneously thought that the cells containing these structures were lymphoblasts, not myeloblasts.
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Gordon SW, Krystal GW. Auer Rods. NEJM. 2017; 376(21):2065. [pubmed]
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- John Auer. http://www.iqb.es/historiamedicina/personas/auer.htm