We investigated genetically affected leukemic cells in FIP1L1-PDGFRA+ chronic eosinophilic leukemia (CEL) and in BCR-ABL1+ chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), two myeloproliferative disorders responsive to imatinib. Fluorescence in situ hybridization specific for BCR-ABL1 and for FIP1L1-PDGFRA was combined with cytomorphology or with lineage-restricted monoclonal antibodies and applied in CML and CEL, respectively. In CEL the amount of FIP1L1-PDGFRA+ cells among CD34+ and CD133+ cells, B and T lymphocytes, and megakaryocytes were within normal ranges. Positivity was found in eosinophils, granulo-monocytes and varying percentages of erythrocytes. In vitro assays with imatinib showed reduced survival of peripheral blood mononuclear cells but no reduction in colony-forming unit growth medium (CFU-GM) growth. In CML the BCR-ABL1 fusion gene was detected in CD34+/CD133+ cells, granulo-monocytes, eosinophils, erythrocytes, megakaryocytes and B-lymphocytes. Growth of both peripheral blood mononuclear cells and CFU-GM was inhibited by imatinib. This study provided evidence for marked differences in the leukemic masses which are targeted by imatinib in CEL or CML, as harboring FIP1L1-PDGFRA or BCR-ABL1.