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AML is a clonal malignancy of myeloid bone marrow precursors in which poorly differentiated cells accumulate in the bone marrow and circulation.

Signs and symptoms occur because of the absence of mature cells normally produced by the bone marrow, including granulocytes (susceptibility to infection) and platelets (susceptibility to bleeding). In addition, if large numbers of immature malignant myeloblasts circulate, they may invade organs and rarely produce dysfunction. There are distinct morphologic subtypes (Table 72-1) that have largely overlapping clinical features. Of note is the propensity of pts with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) (FAB M3) to develop bleeding and disseminated intravascular coagulation, especially during induction chemotherapy, because of the release of procoagulants from their cytoplasmic granules.



Incidence and Etiology

In the United States about 13,780 cases have occurred in 2012. AML accounts for about 80% of acute leukemias in adults. Etiology is unknown for the vast majority. Three environmental exposures increase the risk: chronic benzene exposure, radiation exposure, and prior treatment with alkylating agents (especially in addition to radiation therapy) and topoisomerase II inhibitors (e.g., doxorubicin and etoposide). Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), myelodysplasia, and myeloproliferative syndromes may all evolve into AML. Certain genetic abnormalities are ...

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