Thrombosis and acute leukemia

Hematology. 2012 Apr:17 Suppl 1:S169-73. doi: 10.1179/102453312X13336169156852.


Thrombosis is a common complication in patients with acute leukemia. While the presence of central venous lines, concomitant steroids, the use of Escherichia coli asparaginase and hereditary thrombophilic abnormalities are known risk factors for thrombosis in children, information on the pathogenesis, risk factors, and clinical outcome of thrombosis in adult patients with acute lymphoid leukemia (ALL) or acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is still scarce. Expert consensus and guidelines regarding leukemia-specific risk factors, thrombosis prevention, and treatment strategies, as well as optimal type of central venous catheter in acute leukemia patients are required. It is likely that each subtype of acute leukemia represents a different setting for the development of thrombosis and the risk of bleeding. This is perhaps due to a combination of different disease-specific pathogenic mechanisms of thrombosis, including the type of chemotherapy protocol chosen, the underlying patients health, associated risk factors, as well as the biology of the disease itself. The risk of thrombosis may also vary according to ethnicity and prevalence of hereditary risk factors for thrombosis; thus, it is advisable for Latin American, Asian, and African countries to report on their specific patient population.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asparaginase / adverse effects
  • Catheterization, Central Venous / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Escherichia coli / enzymology
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / complications*
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / complications*
  • Risk Factors
  • Thrombophilia / complications
  • Thrombosis / etiology*
  • Thrombosis / prevention & control
  • Thrombosis / therapy


  • Asparaginase

Supplementary concepts

  • Thrombophilia, hereditary