What are the possible hematologic complications of Down syndrome?

Updated: Apr 30, 2018
  • Author: Gratias Tom Mundakel, MBBS, DCH; Chief Editor: Maria Descartes, MD  more...
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Patients with Down syndrome exhibit a unique pattern of malignancies, yielding intriguing insights into cancer biology. [63] These patients also pose distinctive challenges to the oncologist because of their particular profile of treatment-related toxicities. Individuals with Down syndrome have a higher risk for leukemia, experiencing three distinct disease entities (ie, TMD, AML, and ALL), and have a lower risk for solid tumors. [64]

Childhood leukemia is relatively common; AML is more common in infants, whereas ALL is more common in children older than 1 year. Newborn infants with Down syndrome are prone to TMD (also known as transient abnormal myelopoiesis or transient leukemia). In some cases, TMD can progress to more severe disease, such as AML, within the first 4 years of life.

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