Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Clinical characteristics and outcomes of children with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia and hyperleukocytosis managed with different cytoreductive methods.

Cancer 2023 June 16
BACKGROUND: Hyperleukocytosis in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has been associated with worse outcomes. For cytoreduction, leukapheresis has been used but its clinical utility is unknown, and low-dose cytarabine (LD-cytarabine) is used as an alternative method.

METHODS: Children with newly diagnosed AML treated between 1997 and 2017 in institutional protocols were studied. Hyperleukocytosis was defined as a leukocyte count of ≥100 × 109 /L at diagnosis. Clinical characteristics, early complications, survival data, and effects of cytoreductive methods were reviewed. Among 324 children with newly diagnosed AML, 49 (15.1%) presented with hyperleukocytosis. Initial management of hyperleukocytosis included leukapheresis or exchange transfusion (n = 16, considered as one group), LD-cytarabine (n = 18), hydroxyurea (n = 1), and no leukoreduction (n = 14).

RESULTS: Compared with patients who received leukapheresis, the percentage decrease in leukocyte counts following intervention was greater among those who received LD-cytarabine (48% vs. 75%; p = .02), with longer median time from diagnosis to initiation of protocol therapy (28.1 vs. 95.2 hours; p < .001). The incidence of infection was higher in patients (38%) who had leukapheresis than those who receive LD-cytarabine (0%) or leukoreduction with protocol therapy (14%) (p = .008). No differences were noted in the outcomes among the intervention groups. Although patients with hyperleukocytosis had higher incidences of pulmonary and metabolic complications than did those without, no early deaths occurred, and the complete remission, event-free survival, overall survival rates, and outcomes of both groups were similar.

CONCLUSION: LD-cytarabine treatment appears to be a safe and effective means of cytoreduction for children with AML and hyperleukocytosis.

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