A heparin-like anticoagulant in an 8-month-old boy with acute monoblastic leukemia
Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
Leukemia, Monocytic, Acute
An 8-month-old male with acute monoblastic leukemia died during induction chemotherapy of severe bleeding refractory to repeated infusions of platelets and clotting factors. A heparin effect was suggested by prothrombin time (PT) of 26 seconds, partial thromboplastin time (PTT) of 94 seconds, thrombin time 240 seconds, and reptilase time 18.4 seconds, with a fibrinogen of 88 mg/dl. Both plasma mixed with the patient's urine and the patient's plasma had their thrombin times corrected toward normal by both PF4 and protamine. Synergism of the anticoagulant with antithrombin III was demonstrated not only by enhanced inhibition of thrombin but also by an increased rate of formation of thrombin--antithrombin III complexes in the presence of the anticoagulant, which was eliminated by preincubation with heparinase. Since the anticoagulant activity was not found in the blasts themselves, it is presumed that the anticoagulant is heparin/heparan liberated from the endothelial lining by products of the cell destruction secondary to chemotherapy.