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Case Reports in Hematology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 815365, 4 pages
Case Report

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Presenting as Acute Appendicitis

Department of Medicine and Section of Hematology/Oncology, One Medical Center Drive, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA

Received 25 April 2013; Accepted 2 June 2013

Academic Editors: G. Feher, K. Khair, S. Langabeer, D. Rund, and S. Tauro

Copyright © 2013 Sherri Rauenzahn et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Appendicitis in leukemic patients is uncommon but associated with increased mortality. Additionally, leukemic cell infiltration of the appendix is extremely rare. While appendectomy is the treatment of choice for these patients, diagnosis and management of leukemia have a greater impact on remission and survival. A 59-year-old Caucasian female was admitted to the surgical service with acute right lower quadrant pain, nausea, and anorexia. She was noted to have leukocytosis, anemia, and thrombocytopenia. Abdominal imaging demonstrated appendicitis with retroperitoneal and mesenteric lymphadenopathy for which she underwent laparoscopic appendectomy. Peripheral smear, bone marrow biopsy, and surgical pathology of the appendix demonstrated acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with nonsuppurative appendicitis. In the setting of AML, prior cases described the development of appendicitis with active chemotherapy. Of these cases, less than ten patients had leukemic infiltration of the appendix, leading to leukostasis and nonsuppurative appendicitis. Acute appendicitis with leukemic infiltration as the initial manifestation of AML has only been described in two other cases in the literature with an average associated morbidity of 32.6 days. The prompt management in this case of appendicitis and AML resulted in an overall survival of 185 days.