Isolated chloroma: the effect of early antileukemic therapy

Ann Intern Med. 1995 Sep 1;123(5):351-3. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-123-5-199509010-00005.


Objective: To evaluate the effect of antileukemic chemotherapy administered at diagnosis on the survival of patients with isolated chloroma.

Design: Retrospective review of locally identified patients and analysis of cases from the medical literature.

Patients: The records of all patients with isolated chloroma identified at three teaching hospitals in Toronto between 1980 and 1994 were reviewed. A MEDLINE search was done to identify all cases of isolated chloroma reported in the English-language medical literature. Patients with a previous known hematologic disorder were excluded.

Measurements: The effect of therapy on 1) the interval between diagnosis of chloroma and diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia and 2) survival was determined.

Results: 7 local patients and 83 published cases were identified, for a total of 90 evaluable patients. For the entire group, the median time to the diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia was 9 months, and median survival was 22 months. Chemotherapy was administered to 49 patients (54%) at diagnosis of chloroma. Significantly fewer patients treated with chemotherapy subsequently developed acute myeloid leukemia (41% compared with 71%; P = 0.001). Survival was longer in patients treated with chemotherapy (> 50% alive with a median follow-up of 25 months compared with a median survival of 13 months for those initially untreated; P = 0.001). Multivariate analysis showed that neither local radiotherapy nor surgery had an effect on survival.

Conclusions: Administration of antileukemic chemotherapy at diagnosis of chloroma is associated with a significantly lower probability of developing acute myeloid leukemia and with longer survival.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myeloid / drug therapy*
  • Leukemia, Myeloid / mortality
  • Male
  • Regression Analysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis
  • Time Factors


  • Antineoplastic Agents