• We followed up 153 patients with biopsy-proven primary systemic amyloidosis to determine their risk for acute nonlymphocytic leukemia or a dysmyelopoietic syndrome. In 10 patients cytogenetic abnormalities developed consistent with alkylatorinduced damage to hematopoietic cells. In this group, the total melphalan dose ranged from 476 to 2450 mg (median, 1764 mg) administered over 21 to 92 months (median, 38 months). Eight of the 10 patients died as a direct result of pancytopenia, 1 died of progressive renal amyloid, and 1 remains alive with persistent complex cytogenetic abnormalities. Four patients had acute nonlymphocytic leukemia; 5 had a dysmyelopoietic syndrome; and 1 had a nondiagnostic bone marrow examination. Although only 6.5% of the entire group had leukemia or a dysmyelopoietic syndrome, the actuarial risk in patients surviving 3.5 years was 21%. Median survival from onset of dysmyelopoietic syndrome or acute leukemia was 8.1 months.
(Arch Intern Med. 1990;150:629-633)