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Medicina (Buenos Aires)

Print version ISSN 0025-7680


GRILLE, Sofía et al. Cytarabine and skin reactions in acute myeloid leukemia. Medicina (B. Aires) [online]. 2013, vol.73, n.6, pp.535-538. ISSN 0025-7680.

Cytarabine is an antimetabolite used in the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). It has many adverse effects as: myelosuppression, toxic reactions involving central nervous system, liver, gastrointestinal tract, eyes or skin. Dermatologic toxicity is often described as rare; nevertheless there are differences in the reported frequency. We performed a retrospective study including all AML treated with chemotherapy that involved cytarabine between 1st July of 2006 and 1st July of 2012; 46 patients were included with a median age of 55 years. The overall incidence of skin reactions was 39% (n = 18). Sex, age, history of atopy, history of drug reactions, or dose of cytarabine used, were not associated with them. Skin reactions were observed from 2 to 8 days after treatment started. Considering injury degree: 27.8% had grade 1, 38.9% grade 2 and 33.3% grade 3. We did not find any injury grade 4 or death associated with skin toxicity. As for the type of injury: 55.6% presented macules, 22.2% papules and 22.2% erythema. Lesions distribution was diffuse in 52% of patients, acral in 39.3%, and at flexural level in 8.7%. Adverse cutaneous reactions secondary to the administration of cytarabine are frequent in our service and include some cases with severe involvement. Although these reactions usually resolve spontaneously, they determine an increased risk of infection and a compromise of the patient quality of life.

Keywords : Cytarabine; Skin lesion; Acute myeloid leukemia.

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