BACKGROUND: Molecular characterisation of normal karyotype acute myeloid leukemia (NK-AML) allows prognostic stratification and potentially can alter treatment choices and pathways. Approximately 45-60% of patients with NK-AML carry NPM1 gene mutations and are associated with a favourable clinical outcome when FLT3-internal tandem duplications (ITD) are absent. High resolution melting (HRM) is a novel screening method that enables rapid identification of mutation positive DNA samples. RESULTS: We developed HRM assays to detect NPM1 mutations and FLT3-ITD and tested diagnostic samples from 44 NK-AML patients. Eight were NPM1 mutation positive only, 4 were both NPM1 mutation and FLT3-ITD positive and 4 were FLT3-ITD positive only. A novel point mutation Y572C (c.1715A>G) in exon 14 of FLT3 was also detected. In the group with de novo NK-AML, 40% (12/29) were NPM1 mutation positive whereas NPM1 mutations were observed in 20% (3/15) of secondary NK-AML cases. Sequencing was performed and demonstrated 100% concordance with the HRM results. CONCLUSION: HRM is a rapid and efficient method of screening NK-AML samples for both novel and known NPM1 and FLT3 mutations. NPM1 mutations can be observed in both primary and secondary NK-AML cases.