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Presentations of acute leukemia among patients at National Health Laboratory, Asmara, Eritrea: A descriptive cross-sectional study

 Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, Taif University, Taif, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Amin AtaAlmannan Alamin,
Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, Taif University, P.O. Box 11099, Taif 21944
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijh.ijh_55_22

BACKGROUND: Acute leukemias are a group of potentially fatal hematological malignancies. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical presentation of acute leukemia and estimate the frequency of its signs and symptoms in Asmara, Eritrea. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted consecutively included all of the patients with the diagnosis of acute leukemia at the National Health Laboratory, Asmara, Eritrea, from December 2015 to July 2017. The laboratory and medical data of the patients were obtained using a structured questionnaire based on age, gender, presenting complaints, and clinical findings. RESULTS: Twenty cases who were reviewed acute lymphoblastic leukemia constituted (60%), while acute myeloid leukemia (AML) accounted for 40% of the cases studied. The female patients were more than males (55% vs. 45%). Acute leukemia mainly affected those aged 1–10 years (45%), while the least affected were those aged over 40 years (5%). Acute lymphoid leukemia mainly affects those aged 1–10 years (58.3%), while those aged 20–30 years and over 40 years are unaffected (0%). AML mainly affects those aged 1–10 years and 21–40 years (25%), while those aged 11–20 years and over 40 years being the least affected (12.5%). The most familiar presenting complaint for acute leukemia was fever (70%), followed by fatigue (40%). Splenomegaly (70%), hepatomegaly (40%), and lymphadenopathy (40%) were the most typical physical examination findings. CONCLUSIONS: Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is the most typical kind of acute leukemia affecting the people of Asmara, Eritrea. The young population suffers the most, and fever, fatigue, and pallor are the primary presenting complaints. Splenomegaly, hepatomegaly, and lymphadenopathy are the main physical examination findings among patients with acute leukemia.

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