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Acute myeloid leukemia

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Other Names: Acute myelogenous leukemia

Acute myeloid leukemia (uh-KYOOT MY-eh-loyd loo-KEE-mee-uh) is an aggressive (fast-growing) disease in which too many myeloblasts (immature white blood cells that are not lymphoblasts) are found in the bone marrow and blood. Also called acute myeloblastic leukemia, acute myelogenous leukemia, acute nonlymphocytic leukemia, AML, and ANLL.

Diagram showing the cells in which AML starts
Diagram showing the cells in which AML starts


There are many potential causes of AML such as certain boold disorders,inherited syndromes, environmental exposures, and drug exposures; however, most people who develop AML have no identifiable risk factors

signs and symptoms.

The signs and symptoms of AML vary but may include easy bruising; bone pain or tenderness; fatigue; fever; frequent nosebleeds; bleeding from the gums; shortness of breath; and/or weightloss. For most diseases, symptoms will vary from person to person. People with the same disease may not have all the symptoms listed.

Diffusely swollen gums due to infiltration by leukemic cells in a person with AML

Enlargement of the spleen may occur in AML,but it is typically mild and asymptomatic.

Some people with AML may experience swelling of the gums because of infiltration of leukemic cells into the gum tissue. Rarely, the first sign of leukemia may be the development of a solid leukemic mass or tumor outside of the bone marrow, called a chloroma. Occasionally, a person may show no symptoms, and the leukemia may be discovered incidentally during a routine blood test.


Bone marrow: myeloblasts with Auer rods seen in AML

The first clue to a diagnosis of AML is typically an abnormal result on a complete blood count. While an excess of abnormal white blood cells (leukocytosis) is a common finding with the leukemia, and leukemic blasts are sometimes seen, AML can also present with isolated decreases in platelets, red blood cells, or even with a low white blood cell count (leukopenia).


Treatment may include a combination of chemotherapy,radiation therapy,bone marrow transplant and/or other drug therapy.[1][2] The medication(s) listed below have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as orphan products for treatment of this condition.

  • Glasdegib (Brand name: Daurismo)was approved in combination with low-dose cytarabine, for the treatment of newly-diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in adult patients who are >75 years old or who have comorbidities that preclude use of intensive induction chemotherapy.
  • Enasidenib (Brand name: Idhifa)Treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia with an isocitrate dehydrogenase-2 (IDH2) mutation as detected by an FDA-approved test.
  • Gemtuzumab ozogamicin (Brand name: Mylotarg)is indicated for the treatment of newly-diagnosed CD33-positive acute myeloid leukemia in adults and treatment of relapsed or refractory CD33-positive acute myeloid leukemia in adults and in pediatric patients 2 years and older.

Latest research - Acute myeloid leukemia

Clinical trials

NIH genetic and rare disease info

Acute myeloid leukemia is a rare disease.


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