Signs and symptoms
- Pallor, fatigue, and difficulty breathing due to anemia (decrease in red blood cells)
- Neutropenia and an increased risk of infection due to the decrease in white blood cells. The first symptom of infection may be fever.
- Appearance of hematomas (due to a decrease in platelets in the blood, also known as thrombocytopenia) and petechiae.
- Bleeding and problems with coagulation: this manifests as bleeding of the nose and gums, though it can also affect the digestive system, lungs, and brain.
- Abdominal distension secondary to increased size of the liver and spleen.
- Leukostasis: Accumulation of blasts (cells of acute myeloid leukemia) in different parts of the body. Blasts have greater difficulty than other blood cells when moving about the blood vessels, causing them to build up in the capillary vessels and impeding the passage of red and white blood cells to the different tissues and organs of the body, thus producing symptoms that derive from the impeded flow in the blood vessels in different organs and making organ function more difficult.
- Blasts can accumulate on different levels, forming masses on different levels (known as chloromas or myeloid sarcomas) or in the lymph nodes, liver, or spleen, causing them to expand in size.