Myeloid/natural killer (NK) cell precursor acute leukemia is characterized by coexpression of myeloid and natural killer cell antigens and an aggressive clinical course. Here we report a case of myeloid/NK precursor acute leukemia in a 37-year-old woman. Clinical presentation was correlated with leukemic blast morphology, inummophenotype, and cytogenetic analysis. The patient had noted fever, weakness, purpura, peripheral lymphadenopathy, and moderate hepatosplenomegaly. Peripheral blood smears and bone marrow aspirate smears at presentation revealed blastic cells, which were generally L2 shaped, with variation in cell size, round to moderately irregular nuclei and prominent nucleoli, pale cytoplasm, and a lack of azurophilic granules. Immunophenotypic analysis of the blast, displayed coexpression of myeloid and natural killer cell antigens with relatively immature phenotype: CD7(+), CD33(+), CD34(+), CD56(+), CD57(+), CD16(-), MPO-. Cytogenetic analysis of marrow cells showed 62% of cells with a normal female karyotype; in the remaining 38%, tetraploid changes were detected, where the chromosome number was 92, with no preferential losses or gains of chromosomes. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis revealed the same abnormality. The patient did not respond to chemotherapy (cytosine arabinoside and idarubicin) and died of a septic complication on the 34th day after admission. To our knowledge, this is the first description of tetraploidy in myeloid/NK cell precursor acute leukemia. (c) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.