Dear Readers and Colleagues,

On March 12, 2020, when there were in the world more than 118,000 cases of COVID-19 infection in 114 countries, and 4,291 people have lost their lives, the President of OMS made the assessment that COVID-19 could be characterized as a pandemic. At present, this pandemic is spreading more and more. Today, May 7, 2020, the Confirmed cases are 3 634 172, the confirmed deaths are 251 446, the confirmed countries, areas or territories with cases are 212.

Reports from China, Europe, and North America are enormous, particularly in the fast form of a letter to Editors. On the contrary, data from Africa, most the countries of Asia and South America, are scarce. The Mediterranean Journal of Hematology has a good diffusion in these countries. Hence, our idea and ambition are to become the journal most informative of the spread of COVID-19 in these countries. Therefore I invite all the readers of our Journal, working as doctors or nurses, treating in the hospital or at home, patients with COVID-19  infection, to send a Letter to the Editor in Chief of the MJHID,, to inform their clinical and laboratory experience.  The Editor will provide to put free online in the site of the journal their scientific contribution when considered valid for the knowledge of this disease in their country. The letter to the Editor (no more than 1000 words)  should be written according to the author- guideline of the Journal.   At the end of this year, the best letters, reviewed by the authors on the suggestion of talented reviewers, could be published online in a supplementary issue covered by PUBMED and possibly by Web of Science.

Looking forward to your participation in this initiative.

Giuseppe Leone

Editor in Chief


Letter to Editor

Not ONLY COVID-19! The utility of peripheral blood smear at the time of Covid-19.

Di Matola Tiziana1 , Sale Silvia1, Boenzi Rita1, Landi Giuseppe1, D’antonio Anna1, Sabatino Rocco1, Vaccaro Maria Rosaria1, Atripaldi Luigi1

1 AORN Ospedali dei Colli - Ospedale Monaldi, UOC Biochimica Clinica, Napoli, Italia

Mail autori:


di matola tiziana: (corresponding author), silvia sale:, 

atripaldi luigi :  , sabatino rocco:,

vaccaro mariarosaria :, landi giuseppe : ,

d'antonio anna :, boenzi rita :



Dear Editor,


A routine blood count was performed on a 59 year-old man admitted to our hospital and affected by covid-19 pneumonitis. Blood count performed with DASIT XN 1000 showed that his hemoglobin concentration (Hb) dropped to 84g/L, the platelet count was 136×109/L, the lymphocytes count was 2,50x109/L [1] . The automated instrument output showed the presence of cells with increased fluorescence and reduced complexity suggesting the presence of plasmacytoid lymphocytes / plasmacells. Flow cytometric immunophenotyping showed expression of CD38, CD138, CD56, CD19, while CD20 and CD45 were negative [2]. At biochemical parameters evaluation, increased LDH, Creatinine and PCR were observed. Monoclonal peak in the gamma zone was detected. The peripheral blood smear confirmed the presence of medium-sized plasmacells, strongly basophilic cytoplasm with pink tinge for accumulation of immunoglobulins, paranuclear arcoplasma, eccentric nucleus with condensed clod chromatin (Fig.1). There was no clinical history of hematological disease and further investigations were necessary for diagnosis to confirm a coexisting multiple mieloma. The patient was then directed to oncology department to perform a bone marrow biopsy.

 Observation of blood smear is important in the evaluation of abnormal cells shown by automatic analyzers. During the Cov-19 pandemic, in the presence of numerous morphological changes on the peripheral blood film the laboratory hematologist should be much more cautious to the possible coexistence of hematological pathology still unrecognized in affected patients [3].


Fig.1 Plasmacells of peripheral blood smear– May-Grunwald Giemsa 1000x
























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  1. He WChen LChen LYuan GFang YChen WWu DLiang BLu XMa YLi LWang HChen ZLi QGale RP. COVID-19in persons with haematological cancers.  2020 Apr 24. doi: 10.1038/s41375-020-0836-7. [Epub ahead of print]