Treatment of acute myeloid leukemia during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.

Research paper by Dawn M DM Niedermeier, Debra A DA Frei-Lahr, Philip D PD Hall

Indexed on: 07 Oct '05Published on: 07 Oct '05Published in: Pharmacotherapy: The Journal of Human Pharmacology and Drug Therapy


Fortunately, the occurrence of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) during pregnancy is rare. We report a case of successful fetal outcome with standard induction and consolidation treatment in the second and third trimesters, respectively. A 37-year-old woman in her second trimester (21 wks) of pregnancy was found to have acute myeloid leukemia. She elected to maintain the pregnancy and underwent induction with cytarabine and idarubicin. Her hospital course was complicated by Pseudomonas vesicularis and gram-positive bacilli (not Bacillus anthracis) septicemia, but she obtained complete remission. After discharge, a fetal echocardiogram at 26 weeks revealed a mildly dilated right ventricle with mild systolic dysfunction, and the left ventricle appeared smaller than normal with mild systolic dysfunction. The patient then received consolidation therapy with high-dose cytarabine. On day 14 of consolidation, filgrastim 16 mug/kg was added to improve stem cell mobilization. A total of 19.8x10(6) CD34+ cells/kg were collected with a single apheresis session. At 37 weeks, she delivered a viable female infant weighing 3 lbs 12 oz. Fetal abnormalities included acrocyanosis, shallow sacral dimple, short digits and limbs, and prominent frontal skull with mild macrognathia. A postnatal echocardiogram revealed a moderate-sized membranous ventricular septal defect. The ventricular septal defect proved significant and required surgical repair at 5 months. Approximately 4 weeks after delivery, the mother underwent autologous peripheral stem cell transplantation. Unfortunately, 100 days after transplantation, she had a relapse of AML. After a brief remission from a second induction, the patient died.

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