[Infections in patients with acute myeloid leukemia]

Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 2023 Apr;148(8):467-473. doi: 10.1055/a-1873-4858. Epub 2023 Mar 29.
[Article in German]


Infections represent one of the most frequent complications during therapy of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In addition to associated prolonged phases of neutropenia, damage to the mucosal barrier by cytotoxic agents favors infections caused by endogenous pathogens. The source often remains unknown with bacteremia being the most common evidence of infection. Infections with gram-positive bacteria predominate, however, infections with gram-negative bacteria more often lead to sepsis and death. Due to prolonged neutropenia, patients with AML are furthermore at risk for invasive fungal infections. Viruses, on the other hand, are rarely the cause of neutropenic fever. Because of the limited inflammatory response in neutropenic patients, fever is often the only sign of infection and therefore always represents a hematologic emergency. Prompt diagnosis and initiation of an adequate anti-infective therapy are critical to avoid progression to sepsis and possibly death.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Bacteremia*
  • Fever / etiology
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute* / complications
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute* / drug therapy
  • Neutropenia* / complications
  • Sepsis* / complications
  • Sepsis* / diagnosis