The relationships between autophagy-associated gene expression and clinical characteristics and prognosis in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) have not been well revealed. We examined mRNA expression of Bcl-2, p62, Beclin 1, VPS34, Rubicon, ALFY, UVRAG, ULK1, LC3 and NBR1 in 20 AML cases and 10 benign hematological cases by real-time PCR. Clinical information, treatment responses and outcomes of the AML patients were collected. Beclin 1, LC3, UVRAG, Rubicon and NBR1 were downregulated in AML patients compared with control group (P<0.05). Low ULK1 expression was associated with high white blood cell counts (P<0.05). Autophagy-associated gene expression was not correlated with chemotherapy response. Finally, we analyzed overall survival and found no obvious association with gene expression. However, in unfavorable outcome patients, low Beclin 1 and p62 expression showed worse overall survival than high-expression. Autophagy genes are associated with outcome in AML patients and may be biomarkers or targets in the future.