What are the physical findings characteristic of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)?

Updated: Jul 17, 2018
  • Author: Karen Seiter, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

Patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) commonly have physical signs of anemia, including pallor and a cardiac flow murmur. Fever and other signs of infection, including lung findings of pneumonia, can also occur. Fever should be interpreted as evidence of infection, even in the absence of other signs.

Patients with thrombocytopenia usually demonstrate petechiae, particularly on the lower extremities. A large number of ecchymoses is usually an indicator of a coexistent coagulation disorder such as disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC).

Signs relating to organ infiltration with leukemic cells and, to a lesser degree, lymphadenopathy may be present.

Occasionally, patients have rashes that result from infiltration of the skin with leukemic cells.


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