Vol 46, No 2 (2015)
Prace poglądowe / Reviews
Published online: 2015-04-01

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Disseminated intravascular coagulation in acute leukemia

Krzysztof Chojnowski
DOI: 10.1016/j.achaem.2015.02.014
Acta Haematol Pol 2015;46(2):128-132.


An overt DIC is diagnosed in 10% to 20% of patients with acute leukemia, and bleeding manifestations prevail over thrombosis, with the highest and most harmful clinical impact in acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). Pathogenic mechanisms include a series of intrinsic properties of malignant cells, able to directly activate the coagulation system or to stimulate prothrombotic effects by the host cells. Moreover, chemotherapy or concomitant infections play an important concurrent role. The most characteristic feature of coagulopathy in APL is excessive fibrinolysis. In this review the coagulation abnormalities, clinical manifestations, and the presently known pathophysiologic mechanisms of DIC in patients with acute leukemia are discussed, focusing on the most extensively studied condition of APL. Current approaches and open issues for the management and treatment of these patients are also reviewed.

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