Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia

What is acute myeloblastic leukemia?

Acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML) is a type of blood cancer, where too many white blood cells are found in the bone marrow.


Common symptoms of AML include:

  • anemia  (low red blood cell count)
  • easy bleeding or bruising
  • fever
  • pain in the abdomen
  • pain in the bones or joints


To diagnose AML, your child’s doctor will do a complete physical examination and medical history. He or she may also order one or more of the following tests:

  • complete blood count (CBC) or other blood tests
  • bone marrow aspiration and biopsy
  • spinal tap/lumbar puncture


Treatment for AML depends on what type of AML your child has, age and overall health. Treatment options may include:

  • Chemotherapy is a drug treatment to stop cancer cells from growing. Sometimes is it used alone, and sometimes it is used with radiation therapy, which high-energy rays to kill cancer cells.
  • Stem cell transplant to replace diseased bone marrow with bone marrow from a healthy donor.
  • Blood transfusions to replace or supplement your child’s red blood cells and platelets.

Learn more about Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplant services at Boston Children’s Health Physicians.