Acute promyelocytic leukemia history and symptoms

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Shyam Patel [2], Sogand Goudarzi, MD [3]; Grammar Reviewer: Natalie Harpenau, B.S.[4]


Signs and symptoms of acute promyelocytic leukemia are similar to other forms of leukemia, but bleeding and hemorrhagic events are more specific for acute promyelocytic leukemia since these patients are more likely to present with disseminated intravascular coagulation (coagulopathy).


Patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia present with a variety of symptoms. The symptoms are related to decreased production of normal red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.[1]

Patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia have an excess number of blasts in the bone marrow, and this results in myelophthisis, or crowding out of the normal hematopoietic cells, which accounts for the symptoms.[2][3]


  1. Hu R, Wu Y, Jiang X, Zhang W, Xu L (2011). "Clinical symptoms and chemotherapy completion in elderly patients with newly diagnosed acute leukemia: a retrospective comparison study with a younger cohort". BMC Cancer. 11: 224. doi:10.1186/1471-2407-11-224. PMC 3130702. PMID 21645417.
  2. Efficace, Fabio; Breccia, Massimo; Avvisati, Giuseppe; Cottone, Francesco; Intermesoli, Tamara; Borlenghi, Erika; Carluccio, Paola; Rodeghiero, Francesco; Fabbiano, Francesco; Luppi, Mario; Romani, Claudio; Sborgia, Marco; D’Ardia, Stefano; Nobile, Francesco; Cantore, Nicola; Crugnola, Monica; Nadali, Gianpaolo; Vignetti, Marco; Amadori, Sergio; Lo Coco, Francesco (2018). "Health-related quality of life, symptom burden, and comorbidity in long-term survivors of acute promyelocytic leukemia". Leukemia. doi:10.1038/s41375-018-0325-4. ISSN 0887-6924.
  3. Nebgen DR, Rhodes HE, Hartman C, Munsell MF, Lu KH (August 2016). "Abnormal Uterine Bleeding as the Presenting Symptom of Hematologic Cancer". Obstet Gynecol. 128 (2): 357–63. doi:10.1097/AOG.0000000000001529. PMC 4961605. PMID 27400009.

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