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Am J Hematol. 1980;8(4):347-59.

Acute promyelocytic leukemia--clinical management of 15 patients.


Fifteen patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) were treated with anthracycline agents alone or combined with arabinosylcytosine (Ara C). Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) was managed individually based on the presence of clinical as well as laboratory evidence of DIC. Ten patients received heparin. Eleven patients (73%) achieved complete remission (CR) but there were two early deaths from infection. The median duration of CR was 232 days (range, 41-780 days). Six patients were studied during ten relapses. In all cases, a morphologic picture more typical of acute myelocytic leukemia was seen during relapse but the DIC was similar in severity to that seen initially. Fever, without obvious infection and possibly due to the leukemic process, was a common presenting feature. Regenerating bone marrow aspirates in many patients who subsequently achieved CR without further treatment showed an inordinate number of promyelocytes, and this finding should not be immediately interpreted as disease resistant to therapy.

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