Undiagnosed, Untreated Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia Presenting as a Suspicious Sudden Death*
Abstract: Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) is a subtype of acute myelogenous leukemia frequently associated with clotting abnormalities and severe hemorrhagic diathesis. The disease is associated with a high incidence of early fatal hemorrhage. We report the sudden death
of a 40‐year‐old male without significant medical history in which foul play had been initially suspected. A thorough postmortem investigation performed on the decedent lead to the diagnosis of APL. Cause of death was a cerebellar hematoma. Underlying APL should be considered
in the differential diagnosis when unexplained bleeding is encountered in a decedent. This case emphasizes the value of routinely collecting bone marrow during an autopsy to enable accurate testing and diagnosis.
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Document Type: Research Article
Service de Médecine Légale, Université François Rabelais, Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire de Tours, 37044 Tours, France.
Service de Pharmacologie et Toxicologie, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Dupuytren, 87042 Limoges, France.
Service de Médecine Légale, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Dupuytren, 87042 Limoges, France.
Publication date: 01 May 2012