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Rev Bras Hematol Hemoter. 2013;35(1):39-43. doi: 10.5581/1516-8484.20130013.

Hyperglycemia increases the complicated infection and mortality rates during induction therapy in adult acute leukemia patients.

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Universidade Federal de Pernambuco - UFPE, Recife, PE, Brazil.



To determine the prevalence of hyperglycemia during induction therapy in adult patients with acute leukemia and its effect on complicated infections and mortality during the first 30 days of treatment.


An analysis was performed in a retrospective cohort of 280 adult patients aged 18 to 60 years with previously untreated acute leukemia who received induction chemotherapy from January 2000 to December 2009 at the Hemocentro de Pernambuco (HEMOPE), Brazil. Hyperglycemia was defined as the finding of at least one fasting glucose measurement > 100 mg/dL observed one week prior to induction therapy until 30 days after. The association between hyperglycemia and complicated infections, mortality and complete remission was evaluated using the Chi-square or Fisher's exact tests by the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) in the R software package version 2.9.0.


One hundred and eighty-eight patients (67.1%) presented hyperglycemia at some moment during induction therapy. Eighty-two patients (29.3%) developed complicated infections. Infection-related mortality during the neutropenia period was 20.7% (58 patients). Mortality from other causes during the first 30 days after induction was 2.8%. Hyperglycemia increased the risk of complicated infections (OR 3.97; 95% confidence interval: 2.08 - 7.57; p-value < 0.001) and death (OR 3.55; 95% confidence interval: 1.77-7.12; p-value < 0.001) but did not increase the risk of fungal infections or decrease the probability of achieving complete remission.


This study demonstrates an association between the presence of hyperglycemia and the development of complicated infections and death in adult patients during induction therapy for acute leukemia.


Fever; Hyperglycemia; Infection; Leukemia; Mortality; Neutropenia

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