Acute myeloid leukaemia

Authors: Louise Newson, general practitioner, Solihull. Reviewed by Donald Milligan, oncologist, Birmingham. Updated March 2020 by Emma Lackey, general practitioner, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Like

Key learning points

  • Acute myeloid leukaemia is a malignant disorder characterised by the abnormal proliferation and differentiation of a clonal population of myeloid stem cells.
  • The median age at diagnosis is 68.
  • Prompt diagnosis and treatment is important.
  • Bone marrow failure leads to anaemia, neutropenia (infections) and bleeding; but clinicians need to be aware of the wide range of possible presentations.
  • In adults, consider a full blood count (FBC) within 48 hours to assess for leukaemia if any of the following are present: pallor, persistent fatigue, unexplained fever, unexplained persistent or recurrent infection, generalised lymphadenopathy, unexplained bruising, unexplained bleeding, unexplained petechiae or hepatosplenomegaly.
  • Children and young people should be referred for immediate specialist assessment for leukaemia if they have unexplained petechiae or hepatosplenomegaly. 
  • Children and young people should be offered a FBC within 48 hours to assess for leukaemia if any of the following are present: pallor, persistent fatigue, unexplained fever, unexplained persistent infection, generalised lymphadenopathy, persistent or unexplained bone pain, unexplained bruising, unexplained bleeding. 
  • Medical emergencies can include neutropenic fever/sepsis, hyperleukocytosis, tumour lysis syndrome and disseminated intravascular coagulation.
  • Treatments are individualised using prognostic indicators to avoid overtreating patients with favourable prognoses and improve outcomes in those with less favourable prognoses.


To view full article register to OnMedica and then click
'View full content'. 

   

OnMedica

Editorial team, Wilmington Healthcare

OnMedica is an independent, easy to access on-the-go website for doctors. It provides GPs and specialists with easy to digest and up-to-date, relevant educational content whilst enabling the freedom to share and collaborate in a safe-space to further personal development.
2994 Contributions
43 Followers
1 Following

Comments are disabled