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Clonal Hematopoiesis, Inflammation, and Hematologic Malignancy

Journal Title: 
Annual Review of Pathology: Mechanisms of Disease
Primary Author: 
Kanagal-Shamanna R
Kanagal-Shamanna R, Beck DB, Calvo KR
Original Publication Date: 
Friday, October 13, 2023

Somatic or acquired mutations are postzygotic genetic variations that can occur within any tissue. These mutations accumulate during aging and have classically been linked to malignant processes. Tremendous advancements over the past years have led to a deeper understanding of the role of somatic mutations in benign and malignant age-related diseases. Here, we review the somatic mutations that accumulate in the blood and their connection to disease states, with a particular focus on inflammatory diseases and myelodysplastic syndrome. We include a definition of clonal hematopoiesis (CH) and an overview of the origins and implications of these mutations. In addition, we emphasize somatic disorders with overlapping inflammation and hematologic disease beyond CH, including paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria and aplastic anemia, focusing on VEXAS (vacuoles, E1 enzyme, X-linked, autoinflammatory, somatic) syndrome. Finally, we provide a practical view of the implications of somatic mutations in clinical hematology, pathology, and beyond. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Pathology: Mechanisms of Disease, Volume 19 is January 2024. Please see for revised estimates.