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July 1987

Acral Lividosis—A Sign of Myeloproliferative Diseases: Hyperleukocytosis Syndrome in Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia

Author Affiliations

From the Sections of Dermatology (Drs Frankel and Lorincz) and Hematology/Oncology (Dr Larson), Department of Medicine, University of Chicago.

Arch Dermatol. 1987;123(7):921-924. doi:10.1001/archderm.1987.01660310089021

• Acral ischemia with lividity is a well-described dermatologic sign in the myeloproliferative diseases polycythemia vera and essential thrombocythemia. It has not previously been reported as a sign of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). We suggest the term acral lividosis to describe this clinical entity in patients with any myeloproliferative disease. We propose that the pathophysiology of acral lividosis in CML involves occlusion of small blood vessels of the skin by large, nondeformable myeloblasts, a process that has been shown histologically to occur in other organs in patients with CML. This process, called leukostasis, occurs in patients with CML who have over 50.0 × 109/L (50 000 mm3) circulating myeloblasts. Patients manifest cardiorespiratory and central nervous system compromise, a clinical constellation known as the hyperleukocytosis syndrome. Acral lividosis occurred in a patient with CML in whom nearly every organ demonstrated leukostasis on autopsy.

(Arch Dermatol 1987;123:921-924)

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