Leukemia Cutis as the Presenting Sign of Acute Myeloid Leukemia in an HIV+ patient

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Natalie Garcia
Charlotte Mcrae
Abigail Smith
Lauren Graham


Leukemia Cutis, Acute Myeloid Leukemia, HIV


Leukemia Cutis (LC) is a rare extramedullary cutaneous manifestation of leukemia that varies in terms of clinical presentation, leukemia type, and timing of presentation in relation to systemic leukemia. LC typically presents following diagnosis of systemic leukemia and during an active flare or relapse. An estimated 3.7% of patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) develop LC. A 61-year-old male with poorly controlled HIV presented with a rash that began one month prior on his cheek as a red papule, which he believed was an ingrown hair. On exam, pink and yellow firm papules and nodules covered his entire body surface except the groin and axilla. One nodule held a peau d’orange appearance. The rash was overall asymptomatic, and he reported only increased fatigue. His CD4 count and viral load were 136 and 330,000 respectively. One punch biopsy revealed negative cultures for fungus, bacteria, and acid-fast bacilli. Two biopsies sent for pathologic evaluation revealed AML of the skin. Bone marrow biopsy confirmed AML. Clinically the presentation of LC is nonspecific, and systemic symptoms rarely appear in conjunction with LC. High clinical suspicion and histopathologic examination are necessary for diagnosis of LC.


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