Acute myelogenous leukaemia (AML) is a malignant disease of the bone marrow in which hematopoietic precursors are arrested in an early stage of development. Most AML subtypes are distinguished from other related blood disorders by the presence of more than 20% blasts in the bone marrow.Complete data concerning 345 patients (230 ALL, 115 AML) were reviewed. AML occurred predominantly in adults (77%), with a median age of 34 years, similar to that found in the southeast of Brazil but lower than the median age in the United States and Europe (52 years).
The underlying pathophysiology in AML consists of a maturational arrest of bone marrow cells in the earliest stages of development. The mechanism of this arrest is under study, but in many cases, it involves the activation of abnormal genes through chromosomal translocations and other genetic abnormalities.Patients with low-risk MDS (e.g., refractory anaemia with normal cytogenetics findings) generally do not develop AML, whereas patients with high-risk MDS (eg, refractory anaemia with excess blasts-type 2) frequently do.
Meeting a medical practitioner: Patients with AML should be instructed to call their healthcare providers immediately if they are febrile or have signs of bleeding. For patient education resources, see the Blood and Lymphatic System Center and the Skin, Hair, and Nails Center, as well as Leukemia and Bruises.Patients with AML are best treated at a centre whose staffs have significant experience in the treatment of leukaemia. Patients should be transferred to an appropriate (generally tertiary care) hospital if they are admitted to hospitals without appropriate blood product support, leukapheresis capabilities, or physicians and nurses familiar with the treatment of leukaemia patients.