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Acute promyelocytic leukemia

Acute promyelocytic leukemia Causes

APL is caused by chromosomal translocations, which is a DNA abnormality that causes leukemia to develop. Normally, the human DNA consists of 23 pairs of chromosomes. In APL, one chromosome breaks off and gets attached to another chromosome, hence the term translocation.

Acute promyelocytic leukemia Definition

Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) is a known subtype of AML or acute myologenous leukemia, which is a form of cancer of the bone marrow and the blood. APL patients suffer from the abnormal accumulation of underdeveloped granulocytes . APL is characterized as a disorder brought about by chromosomal translocation.

Acute promyelocytic leukemia Diagnosis

To be able to properly distinguish APL from other forms of leukemia, a morphologic examination is required through aspirate or bone marrow biopsy. To monitor relapse, doctors use PCR tests for allow early re-treatment.

Acute promyelocytic leukemia Symptoms and Signs

APL shares the common symptoms found in AML. This includes fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, easy bleeding, anemia, bone and joint pains as well as increased susceptibility to infections.

Acute promyelocytic leukemia Treatment

Among many types pf leukemia, APL is quite unique and is known to display sensitivity to ATRA or all-trans retinoic acid, which is a derivative of vitamin A. That is try treatments with ATRA is combined with anthracycline chemotherapy that usually results to remission in about 90% of the APL patients.

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