In English | En español
Questions About Cancer? 1-800-4-CANCER

Myelodysplastic/ Myeloproliferative Neoplasms Treatment (PDQ®)

  • Last Modified: 04/14/2014

Page Options

  • Print This Page
  • Print This Document
  • View Entire Document
  • Email This Document

Atypical Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia



Atypical chronic myelogenous leukemia is a disease in which too many granulocytes (immature white blood cells) are made in the bone marrow.

In atypical chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), the body tells too many blood stem cells to become a type of white blood cell called granulocytes. Some of these blood stem cells never become mature white blood cells. These immature white blood cells are called blasts. Over time, the granulocytes and blasts crowd out the red blood cells and platelets in the bone marrow.

The leukemia cells in atypical CML and CML look alike under a microscope. However, in atypical CML a certain chromosome change, called the "Philadelphia chromosome" is not there.

Signs and symptoms of atypical chronic myelogenous leukemia include easy bruising or bleeding and feeling tired and weak.

These and other signs and symptoms may be caused by atypical CML or by other conditions. Check with your doctor if you have any of the following:

  • Shortness of breath.
  • Pale skin.
  • Feeling very tired and weak.
  • Easy bruising or bleeding.
  • Petechiae (flat, pinpoint spots under the skin caused by bleeding).
  • Pain or a feeling of fullness below the ribs on the left side.

Certain factors affect prognosis (chance of recovery).

The prognosis (chance of recovery) for atypical CML depends on the number of red blood cells and platelets in the blood.