Analysis of early death in newly diagnosed acute promyelocytic leukemia patients

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The aim of this study was to identify risk factors for early death (ED) in acute promyelocitic leukemia (APL) patients.

Clinical records of 49 APL patients who suffered ED were divided into 4 groups: death before treatment or within the first 3 days (immediate death; iED group), death during treatment at least 3 days after commencement (ED after treatment), low/intermediate risk, and high-risk groups.

White blood cell (WBC) count, high-risk cases, prothrombin time (PT) prolongation, international society on thrombosis and hemostasis (ISTH) scores (P < .05), bleeding (P = .05), and death due to severe hemorrhage (P = .010) were higher in iED group than ED after treatment. And the time from onset to initial hospitalization or death was significantly shorter (P < .05) in iED patients. LDH level (P = .002), PT prolongation (P = .014), and incidence of grades 3 or 4 bleeding (P = .049) were higher in high-risk group than in ED and low/intermediate-risk groups, while the times from onset to the initial hospitalization or death were lower for ED patients in high-risk group (P = .037).

We found that different types of EDs have different clinical features. A high WBC count contributes to the occurrence of more ED, which is usually not associated with delay of diagnosis and hospitalization. Current therapeutic strategies to reduce the incidence of ED in these cases are not adequate and will benefit from focused research attention.

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