Blast Crisis of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML)

A Digest for Intensivists
  • Rita Assi
  • Nicholas ShortEmail author
Reference work entry


The blast phase, or blast crisis, of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) remains a potentially life-threatening hematologic emergency and a clinical challenge. The advent of tyrosine kinase inhibitors has modestly improved survival in this setting, although outcomes remain unsatisfactory. CML in blast crisis also imposes many challenges to the clinician and intensivist as it frequently manifests with potentially fatal complications such as hyperleukocytosis and leukostasis, tumor lysis syndrome, and disseminated intravascular coagulation.

In this chapter, we present a contemporary overview of the epidemiology, pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, and management approach of blast crisis in chronic myeloid leukemia, from an intensivist’s perspective.


CML Blast crisis Leukostasis Tyrosine kinase inhibitor Chemotherapy 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LeukemiaThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Lebanese American University Medical Center-Rizk HospitalBeirutLebanon

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