Kidney Failure and Abdominal Discomfort as Initial Signs of Extramedullary Acute Myelogenous Leukemia

Clin Pract. 2021 Jul 22;11(3):459-466. doi: 10.3390/clinpract11030061.


Although rare, acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) can include extramedullary manifestations, sometimes presenting as a solid tumor called a myeloid sarcoma. Myeloid sarcoma can be the cause of the initial presenting complaint before AML diagnosis, or may be detected as a sign of disease-relapse after treatment. Here, we report a case in which the initial presentation included abdominal discomfort and signs of kidney failure. Further investigation revealed signs of unilateral hydronephrosis. Due to a diagnostic delay, the patient was diagnosed with AML with extramedullary manifestation only after the development of full-blown leukemia. Biopsy of the compressive tumor confirmed an extramedullary myeloid sarcoma, and [18F]-FDG-PET/CT proved useful for patient diagnosis and follow-up. This case report illustrates the importance of thorough examination and diagnosis, as a serious underlying disease with a rare cause can debut with an unusual presentation.

Keywords: PET; acute myelogenous leukemia; hydronephrosis; kidney failure.

Publication types

  • Case Reports