Leukostasis is a poorly understood and life-threatening complication of acute hyperleukocytic leukemia. The incidence of hyperleukocytosis and leukostasis differs among various subtypes of leukemias. While the pathophysiology of leukostasis is not fully understood, recent research has elucidated many novel pathways that may have therapeutic implications in the future. Respiratory and neurological compromise represents the classical clinical manifestations of leukostasis. If it is not diagnosed and treated rapidly, the one-week mortality rate is approximately 40%. Targeted induction chemotherapy is an important component of the successful treatment of leukostasis, although other modalities of cytoreduction are being used and investigated.