AML blast cell adhesion to endothelium is in all likelihood a prerequisite for blast cell migration across the vascular wall in the periphery and the subsequent establishment of leukemic extravascular disease. A general feature of malignant cells is their acquisition of altered or aberrant adhesive capabilities which appear to be associated with their ability to metastasize. Aberrant expression of integrin adhesion molecules and of membrane oligosaccharide structures is found in AML and various solid tumors. With respect to AML, these alterations in adhesive phenotype may confer a proliferative advantage on the malignant cells in the marrow, may facilitate egress from the bone marrow into the peripheral vasculature and may enable AML blast cells to traverse the vessel wall and so establish extravascular disease. Oncogenes may be directly involved in the acquisition of such aberrant adhesive phenotypes. Neutrophil extravasation is described as a model for leukocyte migration across the vessel wall and brief summaries of experimental work involving aspects of AML blast cell and normal CD34+ bone marrow cell adhesion to endothelium in vitro are described.