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Acute leukemia and pregnancy: a review of management and outcome, 1972-1982

, : Acute leukemia and pregnancy: a review of management and outcome, 1972-1982. Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey 39(11): 663-678

Acute leukemia is a rare complication of pregnancy. Previous reviews that covered cases reported before the introduction of effective combination chemotherapy found fewer than 300 reported pregnancies, with a 36-69 per cent perinatal mortality and median maternal survival, from diagnosis, of less than 6 months. Advances in the fields of hematology-oncology, maternal-fetal medicine, and neonatology have resulted in a marked improvement in both perinatal survival statistics, and median maternal survival. Since 1972, there have been 14 pregnancies reported in patients cured of acute lymphocytic leukemia, with 1 early spontaneous abortion and 13 term infants. All mothers survived. There have been 47 reports of pregnancy in association with acute leukemia. In 40 pregnancies in which acute leukemia was treated, there were 5 abortions, 3 perinatal demises, 1 infant "liveborn in grave condition," and 31 surviving infants. Median maternal survival was at least 6, and possibly more than 12 months from delivery. In seven cases in which leukemia was untreated, there were one abortion, two perinatal demises, and four living infants; only one of six mothers survived beyond 6 months. Here, a case of pregnancy complicated by acute promyelocytic leukemia is presented. The mother was aggressively treated with combination chemotherapy. The fetus was closely monitored and delivered following a course of betamethasone at 34 weeks' gestation, and had no neonatal problems. The mother expired 13 months status-post bone marrow transplantation, 16 months after delivery. Cases of pregnancy complicated by acute leukemia reported in the period 1972-1982 are reviewed, and management is discussed in detail. Aggressive hematologic and obstetric management is advocated, and should result in further improvements in fetal and maternal outcome.


PMID: 6390276

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