What is myeloid sarcoma?

Updated: Jul 28, 2020
  • Author: Amandeep Aneja, MD; Chief Editor: Aliyah R Sohani, MD  more...
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Myeloid sarcoma represents the tissue mass form of acute myeloid leukemia (AML); thus, the diagnosis is equivalent to a diagnosis of AML. [1] Myeloid sarcoma may occur de novo, may precede or coincide with AML, or may represent a blastic transformation of a preceding myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN), or MDS/MPN. [2, 3] Myeloid sarcoma may also be the initial manifestation of relapse in a patient with previously diagnosed AML.

Myeloid sarcoma is composed of myeloid blasts, similar to AML—that is, immature granulocytic precursors, monocytic precursors, erythroid precursors, or even megakaryocytic precursors.

The more frequent sites of involvement are the skin, lymph nodes, gastrointestinal tract, bone, soft tissue, testis, and peritoneum. [3, 4, 5] Rarely, multiple anatomic sites are involved (< 10% of cases).

Myeloid sarcoma has a slight predilection for males (male-to-female ratio: 1.2:1). It typically occurs in the later decades of life (median age: 56 years; range: 1 month to 89 years). [6, 7]

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