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Leukemia. 1994 Apr;8(4):535-41.

Post-remission cytopenias following intense induction chemotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia.

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Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of California, San Francisco 94143-0324.


Forty-five patients with untreated, de novo acute myeloid leukemia (AML) were treated with high-dose cytosine arabinoside (Ara-C) plus mitoxantrone or daunorubicin. Forty-two patients entered complete remission with recovery of normal blood counts. Seven of these patients were excluded from further analysis (two, early consolidation chemotherapy; four, early relapse; one, hypersplenism). Of the remaining 35 patients, 20 (57%) developed thrombocytopenia and anemia (with or without neutropenia) a median of 3 weeks after entering complete remission. Post-remission cytopenias were more common in patients receiving mitoxantrone (81%) compared to those receiving daunorubicin (37%; p < 0.003). The cytopenias lasted a median of 54 days. Four of five patients in whom the cytopenias did not recover received mitoxantrone. Leukemia relapse or myelodysplasia did not explain these cytopenias. Post-remission cytopenias resulted in a greater than 90-day delay or prevention of planned autologous bone marrow transplantation in 13 of 17 otherwise eligible patients. We conclude that post-remission cytopenias are common following blood count recovery in AML patients entering complete remission with high-dose Ara-C and mitoxantrone or daunorubicin. Post-remission cytopenias do not necessarily imply leukemia relapse.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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