Blast crisis

Last revised by Dr Henry Knipe on 11 Nov 2021

A blast crisis or lymphoid blast crisis refers to the transition of chronic or accelerated phase chronic myeloid leukemia to acute leukemia. It is usually characterized by

  • ≥30% blasts in the bone marrow or peripheral blood
    or
  • development of extramedullary disease outside of the spleen

Among patients with transformation

  • 20-30% will develop a blast crisis with lymphoid-associated antigens (Ly-BC)
  • 70-80% will develop a blast crisis with myeloid-associated antigens (My-BC) or with both (Mix-BC) 2

Treatment and prognosis

Traditionally considered incurable although tyrosine kinase therapy or allogeneic transplantation may halt progression 3.

See also

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