Acute respiratory distress syndrome caused by leukemic infiltration of the lung

Yao Kuang Wu, Yi Chih Huang, Shiu Feng Huang, Chung Chi Huang*, Ying Huang Tsai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

11 Scopus citations


Respiratory distress syndrome resulting from leukemic pulmonary infiltrates is seldom diagnosed antemortem. Two 60- and 80-year-old women presented with general malaise, progressive shortness of breath, and hyperleukocytosis, which progressed to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) after admission. Acute leukemia with pulmonary infection was initially diagnosed, but subsequent examinations including open lung biopsy revealed leukemic pulmonary infiltrates without infection. In one case, the clinical condition and chest radiography improved initially after combination therapy with chemotherapy for leukemia and aggressive pulmonary support. However, new pulmonary infiltration on chest radiography and hypoxemia recurred, which was consistent with acute lysis pneumopathy. Despite aggressive treatment, both patients died due to rapidly deteriorating condition. Leukemic pulmonary involvement should be considered in acute leukemia patients with non-infectious diffusive lung infiltration, especially in acute leukemia with a high blast count.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-423
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Formosan Medical Association
Issue number5
StatePublished - 05 2008


  • Acute lysis pneumopathy
  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome
  • Leukemia
  • Leukemic infiltration


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