Canterbury DHB


Clinical Features

ALL has many features in common with AML. Failure of normal blood cell production usually leads to anaemia, neutropenia, and thrombocytopenia. Occasionally, patients present with normal or near normal counts but with blast cells present in the peripheral blood. Infiltration by leukaemic cells may lead to lymphadenopathy and enlargement of liver and spleen, but these changes are rarely marked. Bone pain and tenderness may occur. Hypercalcaemia, CNS involvement, an anterior mediastinal mass in T-ALL, and testicular infiltration are other features that may be found.

ALL may occur at any age but there is a peak incidence between the ages of 2 and 5. The incidence then falls to low levels but gradually rises with age. Around 30% of patients with ALL will be over 60 at presentation. The disease changes its biological characteristics the older the patient. There is a male predominance under the age of 10 years, but in older patients the sexes are equally affected.

About this Canterbury DHB document (8837):

Document Owner:

Peter Ganly (see Who's Who)

Last Reviewed:

December 2021

Next Review:

December 2024


Note: Only the electronic version is controlled. Once printed, this is no longer a controlled document. Disclaimer

Topic Code: 8837