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17 January 2023 : Case report  USA

[In Press] Aleukemic Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia: How Concomitant HIV, Hepatitis C, and Chronic Alcohol Use Disorder May Have Hidden an Underlying Malignancy

Challenging differential diagnosis, Rare disease, Rare coexistence of disease or pathology

Anas Mahmoud1ABCDEF, Moutaz Ghrewati2ADEF, Brooke Kania1ABDEF, Minha Naseer1ABCEF, Ashima Kapoor2EF, Patrick Michael1AEF

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.938086

Am J Case Rep In Press; DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.938086  

Available online: 2023-01-17, In Press, Corrected Proof

Publication in the "In-Press" formula aims at speeding up the public availability of the pending manuscript while waiting for the final publication. The assigned DOI number is active and citable. The availability of the article in the Medline, PubMed and PMC databases as well as Web of Science will be obtained after the final publication according to the journal schedule


Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) is a rare subtype of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and is characterized by a genetic translocation affecting the retinoic acid receptor-alpha gene, leading to blockage in the differentiation of granulocytic cells. The accumulation of promyelocytes in bone marrow leads to cytopenias and life-threatening coagulopathies. Definitive diagnosis is made with bone marrow biopsy. Differentiation of APL from other leukemias is important to appropriately treat with all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) and arsenic trioxide. Patients with HIV are at a higher risk to develop AML. This article identifies how multiple comorbidities and social factors can contribute to difficulties in diagnosing AML.
We present a 67-year-old man with a past medical history of hypertension and substance use disorder who presented with progressive exertional dyspnea and was found to have HIV, chronic hepatitis C, and APL with pancytopenia. His bone marrow biopsy confirmed AML. This was a case of co-existing HIV and aleukemic leukemia.
APL can present with pancytopenia, weakness, failure to thrive, or bleeding complications, which can be similar to presentations of those diagnosed with HIV. Diagnosis of APL can be differentiated between hypergranular and hypogranular; our patient demonstrated APL with only 52% blasts, which can make for a challenging diagnosis. Given increased mortality of APL, immediate ATRA therapy is warranted. Aleukemic leukemia is a rare presentation typically accompanied by skin manifestations. Our case highlights the importance of having high clinical suspicion for malignancy in patients with comorbidities that can interfere with the classic presentation of leukemia.

Keywords: Alcoholism; Hepatitis C; HIV; Leukemia, Promyelocytic, Acute; Pancytopenia

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Am J Case Rep In Press; DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.938982  

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Am J Case Rep In Press; DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.938850  

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American Journal of Case Reports eISSN: 1941-5923
American Journal of Case Reports eISSN: 1941-5923