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Best Pract Res Clin Haematol. 2003 Sep;16(3):453-61.

Retinoic acid syndrome: manifestations, pathogenesis, and treatment.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA. rlarson@salud.unm.edu


All-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) is a potent differentiation agent that is effective therapy in acute promyelocytic leukaemia. Although ATRA is generally well tolerated, some patients develop retinoic acid syndrome. This syndrome is manifested by unexplained fever, weight gain, respiratory distress, interstitial pulmonary infiltrates, pleural and pericardial effusion, episodic hypotension, and acute renal failure. However, if identified early enough, effective therapy can be administered. This chapter discusses the clinical aspects and pathogenesis of retinoic acid syndrome.

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