Which blood test findings are characteristic of erythroleukemia?

Updated: Dec 16, 2018
  • Author: Beata Holkova, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

Findings on blood studies include the following: 

  • Complete blood count – Most patients present with pancytopenia. The white blood cell (WBC) count can range from 1000 to 100,000/µL. Anemia may be mild.
  • Peripheral blood smear – Findings may vary and include blasts (though these may not be present in as many as 50% of cases), macrocytosis, nucleated erythrocytes, schistocytes, and thrombocytopenia.
  • Chemistry profile, liver function tests, and serum electrolytes – Abnormal findings may reflect organ dysfunction resulting from leukemic infiltration. Elevated lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and uric acid levels may be present.
  • Blood cultures – Blood cultures should be obtained in patients with fever or signs of infection.
  • Rheumatoid factor, antinuclear antibody, Coombs test, and immunoglobulins – Autoantibodies and hypergammaglobulinemia have been reported in patients with erythroleukemia who have joint or bone pain.
  • Vitamin B-12 and folate – Severe pernicious anemia sometimes mimics acute erythroleukemia.

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