Last updated:09-05-2008
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Definition and causes

All blood cells develop from a stem cell , Which divides into 2 lines and forms themyeloidstem cell and thelymphoidstem cell (the latter form a part of the white blood cells). The myeloid stem cell develops roughly in 3 different lines, resulting in the formation of red blood cells, the white blood cells and platelets (see the blood in general ). During this development are the cells in different precursors, where there may be errors.

AML is defined as a condition where there has been a malignant (malignant) celleforandring during the development of the myeloid stem cell and a growth of one cell type that is not fully developed (the green). This means that there is a lot of immature leukæmiceller, which is spreading in the blood, bone marrow and other tissues (typically the liver and spleen). This overproduction of immature cells crowd out the development of normal cells, so the body will lack several of the normally developed blood cells. By definition

There is no direct primary reason for the development of AML, and the hereditary importance is quite modest. There is however a link in the development of AML and Downs syndrome .

AML can be seen after the secondary effects from radiation (it was seen in particular from many Japanese after a-bombespræningerne at Hiroshima and Nagasaki), the influence of chemicals (such. Benzene) and after treatment with cellegifte (chemotherapy).

There are around. 200 new cases in Denmark a year. The disease most often seen in the elderly and rarely in children.


As the development of normal blood cells supplanted by AML, they are in a lower amount in the blood. This results in the development of the following symptoms that occur suddenly:

  • Signs of anaemia (anaemia) due to reduced number of red blood cells. This is seen as, inter alia, fatigue, pallor and dizziness.

  • Signs of fever and malaise due to the reduced number of white blood cells.

  • The trend for bleeding due to decreased number of platelets ( thrombocytopenia ). This shows include with an increased tendency for nosebleeds and bruising.

  • Bone pain.

  • Opsvulmede gums.

Precautions and diagnosis

If we develop the above symptoms, it is important that we immediately come to a doctor. Developer symptoms in high level, do you call 112 after an ambulance. Tilstanden life-threatening, if you do not receive treatment within a short time.

At the doctor will have been taken a blood sample, which can lead in the direction of the diagnosis. Here is measured, inter alia, the content of the normal blood cells. A final diagnosis made by a knoglemarvsundesøgelse Where you look at the content of leukæmiceller in the bone marrow. Is there more than a certain number of these cells, can diagnosis is provided.


The treatment of AML is a specialistopgave, which take place at the major hospitals in Denmark. The primary treatment is chemotherapy with the use of different types of cellegifte. These substances affects cells in the bone marrow, which divides, and it is important for the healing that cellegiften framework leukaemia cells more than the limits stem cells, which will produce the normal blood cells. It uses repeated treatments to ensure that leukæmicellen is completely wiped out.

If it can to eradicate leukæmicellen, stamcellen can begin to share and develop normal blood cells in bone marrow.

Certain types leukæmiceller can be treated with vitamin A in combination with chemotherapy.

In younger patients can make an intensive flerstofsbehandling with chemotherapy, which clears all the cells in the bone marrow may. combined with radiation. Then a bone marrow typically from a donor from the family. You can also search for a knoglemarvsregister to find a donor who matches the recipient. The donor sheep under local anaesthetic sucked around. 1 litre of bone marrow out (several times), and then injected into the veins of the sick, after which the cells themselves are in favour im

Then it around. 2-4 weeks before a normal blodcelledannelse created, and in this period is a high risk of infections, anaemia and bleeding. To avoid this, it blood and antibiotics, and it becomes isolated on a enestue to avoid being infected with ordinary bacteria or viruses that can start life-threatening infections.

In the general treatment with chemotherapy, receive many blood transfusions and antibiotics to alleviate the symptoms.


The forecast depends very much on what specific type leukæmicelle, it is. In general, there are good treatment options for younger, while the forecast is worse for elderly people who could not tolerate a knoglemarvs transplantation. The elderly are also less resistant to infection and bleeding, which gives them a worse prognosis.



Related articles:

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML)
Leukaemia (Cancer of the blood)



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