Introduction: Adult patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) frequently present retinal abnormalities. We tried to find a relationship between fundus lesions and treatment responsiveness, prognosis, and several hematologic parameters.
Patients and methods: We examined 178 adult patients with newly diagnosed AML. All patients were assigned to two groups regarding retinal parameters (1 or 2) and age (A or B). Group 1 included cases with retinal dysfunction classified as retinal abnormalities with impaired visual acuity; group 2 included cases with no or only minor retinal changes. Subgroup A included patients younger than 60 years (n=97), subgroup B patients older than 60 years (n=81).
Results: In this study, higher age and a lower Hb value were associated with retinal findings (group 1). Among the younger patients (subgroup A), 78% of those with complete remission had no retinal findings (group 2) compared to 18% of the nonresponders. In the elderly population (subgroup B), this ratio was 58% versus 19%. In the younger patients (subgroup A), the mean overall survival was 50 months if they had no retinal abnormalities (group 2) and 7 months in the case of retinal changes (group 1). In the older population (subgroup B), the ratio was 15 months versus 3 months, respectively.
Conclusion: Retinal abnormalities in AML are generally associated with higher age, although they correlate with a shorter survival in both age groups. This association is stronger in younger patients.