Thromboembolic and bleeding complications in acute leukemia

Hau C. Kwaan, Timothy Huyck

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The risk of both thromboembolic and bleeding complications is high in acute leukemia. This double hazard has a significant negative impact on the morbidity and mortality of patients with this disease. The clinical manifestations of both complications show special features specific to the form of acute leukemia. Recognition of these characteristics is important in the diagnosis and management of acute leukemia. In this article, several additional issues are addressed, including the features of bleeding and thrombosis in acute promyelocytic leukemia, the current understanding of the leukostasis syndrome and the iatrogenic complications including catheter-associated thrombosis, and the adverse effects of therapeutic agents used in acute leukemia. As regards the bleeding complications, thrombocytopenia is a major cause. Corrective measures, including recent guidelines on platelet transfusions, are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)719-730
Number of pages12
JournalExpert Review of Hematology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010


  • acute leukemia
  • acute promyelocytic leukemia
  • anticoagulation
  • fibrinolysis
  • hemorrhage
  • leukostasis
  • platelet transfusion
  • thrombosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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