Acute promyelocytic leukemia during pregnancy: A case report and 10-year institutional review of hematologic malignancies during pregnancy

Academic Article


  • Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) manifesting during pregnancy is a very rare but highly challenging gestational complication in part due to its associated profound coagulopathy. We present the case of a 23-year-old Gravida 3 Para 2002 woman admitted to our hospital at 26 weeks of gestation for severe pre-eclampsia with documentation of intrauterine fetal demise (IUFD), thrombocytopenia, and placental abruption. A peripheral blood smear revealed promyelocytes with azure granules, highly concerning for APL. Additional peripheral blood studies confirmed APL. Placental examination also revealed circulating blasts in decidual vessels and scattered blast entrapment in diffuse perivillous fibrinoid deposits, but none in the chorionic villi. Treatment for APL was initiated immediately and she is in complete molecular remission. Our case underscores the importance of close collaboration among obstetric, hematology, and pathology teams in the care of patients with pre-eclampsia, thrombocytopenia, and postpartum coagulopathy. We also describe five additional cases of gestations complicated by hematologic malignancies identified upon a 10-year institutional retrospective review.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Fei F; Faye-Petersen OM; Vachhani P; Jamy O; Reddy VV
  • Volume

  • 215
  • Issue

  • 12