Auer rod

Auer rods (or Auer bodies) are large, crystalline cytoplasmic inclusion bodies sometimes observed in myeloid blast cells during acute myeloid leukemia, acute promyelocytic leukemia, and high-grade myelodysplastic syndromes and myeloproliferative disorders. Composed of fused lysosomes and rich in lysosomal enzymes, Auer rods are azurophilic and can resemble needles, commas, diamonds, rectangles, corkscrews, or rarely granules.[1]


Although Auer rods are named for American physiologist John Auer,[2] they were first described in 1905 by Canadian physician Thomas McCrae, then at The Johns Hopkins Hospital,[3] as Auer himself acknowledged in his 1906 paper. Both McCrae and Auer mistakenly thought that the cells containing the rods were lymphoblasts.[4]

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  2. Auer, John (1906). "Some hitherto undescribed structures found in the large lymphocytes of a case of acute leukaemia". American Journal of the Medical Sciences. 131 (6): 1002–1015. doi:10.1097/00000441-190606000-00008. ISSN 0002-9629.
  3. McCrae, Thomas (February 1905). "Acute lymphatic leukaemia with a report of five cases". British Medical Journal. 1 (2304): 404–408. doi:10.1136/bmj.1.2304.404. PMC 2319598. PMID 20761949.
  4. Bain, Barbara (August 2011). "Auer rods or McCrae rods?". American Journal of Hematology. 86 (8): 689. doi:10.1002/ajh.21978. PMID 21761434.
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