A case of leukemic reticuloendotheliosis responding to oxymetholone

Cancer. 1982 Aug 1;50(3):396-400. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19820801)50:3<396::aid-cncr2820500303>3.0.co;2-n.


A 63-year-old man presented with fever, easy bruisability, splenomegaly and pancytopenia. Bone marrow aspiration was unsuccessful, and marrow biopsy revealed crowding by sheets of mononuclear cells; a diagnosis of leukemic reticuloendotheliosis (LRE) was made and the patient underwent splenectomy. There was no hematologic improvement, and the patient continued to have a significant requirement for erythrocytes and platelet transfusions. Within two months of beginning oxymetholone therapy (50 mg orally three times a day) the patient's platelet count had normalized, followed by improved erythrocyte and leukocyte counts. When the drug was discontinued, the peripheral blood counts deteriorated drastically; he again demonstrated hematologic improvement when oxymetholone therapy was reinstated. We feel that by demonstrating a hematologic response to oxymetholone, relapse when it was withdrawn, and another remission upon readministration, that we have provided stronger evidence than previously reported for the efficacy of this drug in LRE.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bone Marrow / pathology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hematocrit
  • Humans
  • Leukemia / drug therapy*
  • Leukemia / therapy
  • Lymphatic Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Lymphatic Diseases / pathology
  • Lymphatic Diseases / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxymetholone / therapeutic use*
  • Platelet Count
  • Splenectomy


  • Oxymetholone