This study was conducted to investigate long-term neurocognitive outcomes and to determine associated risk factors in a cohort of Korean survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Forty-two survivors of ALL were compared with 42 healthy controls on measures of a neurocognitive test battery. We analysed potential risk factors (cranial irradiation, sex, age at diagnosis, elapsed time from diagnosis, and ALL risk group) on neurocognitive outcomes. ALL patients had lower, but non-significant full-scale intelligence quotient (FSIQ, 107.2±12.2 vs. 111.7±10.2), verbal intelligence quotient (VIQ, 107.7±13.6 vs. 112.2±11.4), and performance intelligence quotient (PIQ, 106.3±14.2 vs. 110.1±10.7) scores than healthy controls. However, patients treated with cranial irradiation performed significantly lower on FSIQ (102.2±8.1), VIQ (103.3±11.7), and PIQ (101.4±13.2) compared to non-irradiated patients and healthy controls. ALL patients also had poor attention, concentration, and executive functions. Among ALL survivors, cranial irradiation was a risk factor for poor FSIQ, being male was a risk factor for poor PIQ, and younger age was a risk factor for poor attention. Therefore, the delayed cognitive effects of ALL treatment and its impact on quality of life require continuing monitoring and management.
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia; Attention; Child; Cranial Irradiation; Cognition
Alveolar soft part sarcoma (ASPS) is an extremely rare malignant soft tissue sarcoma primarily affecting young patients. It usually occurs in the lower extremities, although it can occur in soft tissue anywhere in the body. However, to our knowledge, there has been no case of primary ASPS originating from the kidney in the literature. We herein present the imaging and clinical features of an ASPS which occurred in a 16-year-old male presented as a palpable mass in the left side of the abdomen.
Sarcoma; Alveolar soft part sarcoma; Kidney
Langerhans cell sarcoma (LCS) is a neoplastic proliferation of Langerhans cells with malignant cytological features and multi-organ involvement that typically has a poor prognosis. We experienced 2 cases of LCS in children less than 2 years of age and report them based primarily on CT and MR findings. Both children had findings of hepatosplenomegaly with low-attenuation nodular lesions, had multiple lymphadenopathy, and had shown recurrent lesions invading the skull during follow-up after chemotherapy.
Langerhans cell sarcoma; Langerhans cell histiocytosis; CT; MR
Acute appendicitis has been reported to be relatively rare in pediatric leukemia patients but there is no official data for this in Korea. And there is no consensus for its treatment in this population.
Materials and Methods
We conducted a retrospective study of 7 patients diagnosed with appendicitis among 1209 pediatric patients who were diagnosed with leukemia from 1996 to 2008 at a single institution in Korea.
The median age at the time of the diagnosis of appendicitis was 12 years (range: 3-15 years), and 3 of the patients were male. The median absolute neutrophil count (ANC) at the time of diagnosis was 0.99×109/L (range: 0-3×109/L). The mean time from the onset of symptoms to the diagnosis was 4 days. All 7 leukemia patients with appendicitis underwent surgery and they demonstrated a survival of 100% without significant complications.
The incidence of appendicitis in pediatric leukemia patients was 0.57% in our study. Early diagnosis with abdominal ultrasound or computed tomography and early surgical resection in leukemic patient with acute appendicitis may be a safer and more effective treatment option. Even when perforation has already occurred and when the patient has an ANC of 0×109/L, surgical treatment may improve overall survival without incurring significant complications.
Acute appendicitis; leukemia; neutropenia; appendectomy
Diamond Blackfan anemia (DBA), characterized by impaired red cell production, is a rare condition that is usually symptomatic in early infancy. The purpose of this study was to assess nationwide experiences of DBA encountered over a period of 20 years.
The medical records of 56 patients diagnosed with DBA were retrospectively reviewed from November 1984 to July 2010. Fifteen institutions, including 13 university hospitals, participated in this study.
The male-to-female ratio of patients with DBA was 1.67:1. The median age of diagnosis was 4 months, and 74.1% were diagnosed before 1 year of age. From 2000 to 2009, annual incidence was 6.6 cases per million. Excluding growth retardation, 38.2% showed congenital defects: thumb deformities, ptosis, coarctation of aorta, ventricular septal defect, strabismus, etc. The mean hemoglobin concentration was 5.1±1.9 g/dL, mean corpuscular volume was 93.4±11.6 fL, and mean number of reticulocytes was 19,700/mm3. The mean cellularity of bone marrow was 75%, with myeloid:erythroid ratio of 20.4:1. After remission, 48.9% of patients did not need further steroids. Five patients with DBA who received hematopoietic transplantation have survived. Cancer developed in 2 cases (3.6%).
The incidence of DBA is similar to data already published, but our study had a male predilection. Although all patients responded to initial treatment with steroids, about half needed further steroids after remission. It is necessary to collect further data, including information regarding management pathways, from nationwide DBA registries, along with data on molecular analyses.
Diamond Blackfan anemia; Anemia; Congenital defects
The aim of this study was to investigate the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis antibody titers after antineoplastic treatment and to suggest an appropriate vaccination approach for pediatric hemato-oncologic patients. A total of 146 children with either malignancy in remission after cessation of therapy or bone marrow failure were recruited. All children had received routine immunization including diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis vaccination before diagnosis of cancer. The serologic immunity to diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis was classified as: completely protective, partially protective, or non-protective. Non-protective serum antibody titer for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis was detected in 6.2%, 11.6%, and 62.3% of patients, respectively, and partial protective serum antibody titer for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis was seen in 37%, 28.1%, and 8.9% of patients. There was no significant correlation between the severity of immune defect and age, gender or underlying disease. Revaccination after antineoplastic therapy showed significantly higher levels of antibody for each vaccine antigen. Our data indicates that a large proportion of children lacked protective serum concentrations of antibodies against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. This suggests that reimmunization of these patients is necessary after completion of antineoplastic treatment. Also, prospective studies should be undertaken with the aim of devising a common strategy of revaccination.
Serologic Immunity; Immunocompromised Children; Diphtheria; Tetanus; Pertussis; Vaccination
Acrodermatitis enteropathica (AE) is an uncommon autosomal recessive genetic disorder of zinc malabsorption. The acquired form may be associated with inadequate intake, impaired absorption, and increased excretion of zinc. Those afflicted present with diarrhea, stomatitis, psychiatric symptoms, non-scarring alopecia, and nail dystrophy accompanied by erythematous which appears as scaly patches with erosion vesicles and pustules mostly affecting the extremities, perineal, and periorificial areas. Due to the variable findings of most case reports, the clinical and histopathological features of AE are often regarded as non-specific. We report an unusual case of bullous AE secondary to total parenteral nutrition for the treatment of acute pancreatitis occurring in a six-year-old male with acute lymphocytic leukemia who underwent chemotherapy. He presented with periorificial, reddish, eroded bullae with multiple vesicles and blisters on his fingers, toes, and buttock, showing necrotic keratinocytes with multiple intraepidermal vesicles and perivascular infiltration with predominant lymphocytes and few neutrophils within the dermis. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case report of bullous AE in the Korean dermatologic literature.
Bullous acrodermatitis enteropathica; Chemotherapy; Total parenteral nutrition
Combination treatment with all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA) and anthracycline-based chemotherapy has led to major advances in the treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL).
In this study, we reviewed the outcome of pediatric APL patients treated using a modified AIDA protocol at our institution.
Between May 1999 and December 2007, 23 patients were diagnosed with APL at the Department of Pediatrics, Saint Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea. Eleven patients were male (48%) (median age at diagnosis, 11 (range, 2-14) years). The treatment protocol consisted of remission induction (achieved by coadministration of ATRA and idarubicin), 3 courses of consolidation treatment, and 2 years of maintenance treatment during which ATRA was also administered. Three patients died early during remission induction due to CNS hemorrhage. The remaining 20 patients achieved complete remission (CR), with an overall CR rate of 87%. Two patients relapsed and died, and another patient died of pneumonia unrelated to APL. Four patients (17%) were diagnosed with ATRA syndrome, and all patients showed resolution of symptoms. The event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) of the cohort were 78.3±8.6% and 76.3±9.5%, respectively. Initial WBC count at diagnosis was the only significant prognostic factor for the rate of CR (P=0.039) and OS (P=0.039).
A modified AIDA protocol for the treatment of childhood APL leads to improved EFS and OS, with limited ATRA syndrome-associated toxicity. Active monitoring and treatment of patients with high initial WBC counts may help in reducing mortality.
Acute promyelocytic leukemia; Children; All-trans-retinoic acid; Anthracycline
Lymphomatoid papulosis (LyP) is a benign, self-healing, papular eruption that can wax and wane over time. Transformation to T-cell lymphoma has been well documented in 10% to 20% of adults with LyP. However, this transformation rarely occurs in patients younger than 20 years of age. Here, we present the first known pediatric patient in Korea, a 12-year-old boy who developed a subcutaneous nodule on the scrotum 13 months after papulonecrotic lesions of LyP were identified on both lower extremities and face. Histological and immunohistochemical examination of the subcutaneous nodule revealed anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). A T-cell receptor gene rearrangement analysis demonstrated an identical rearranged pattern in the two specimens, indicating that a common T-cell clone had proliferated over time in both the LyP and ALCL lesions.
Anaplastic large cell lymphoma; Lymphomatoid papulosis
Iron overload is a predictable and life-threatening complication in patients dependent on the regular transfusion of RBCs. The aims of this study were to investigate the efficacy and safety of deferiprone in a variety of pediatric hematologic and/or oncologic patients with a high iron overload.
Seventeen patients (age: 1.1-20.4 years; median: 10.6 years) from 7 hospitals who were treated with deferiprone from 2006 to 2009 were enrolled in this study. Medical records of enrolled patients were reviewed retrospectively.
Serum ferritin levels were 4,677.8±1,130.9 µg/L at baseline compared to 3,363.9±1,149.7 µg/L at the end of deferiprone treatment (P=0.033). Only 1 patient developed neutropenia as a complication.
Deferiprone treatment is relatively safe for pediatric patients suffering from various hematologic and oncologic diseases that require RBC transfusions as part of treatment. However, the potential development of critical complications such as agranulocytosis and/or neutropenia remains a concern.
Deferiprone; Iron overload; Transfusion; Neutropenia
Acute colonic pseudo-obstruction (ACPO) refers to dilatation of the colon and decreased bowel motility without evidence of mechanical obstruction. Neostigmine, an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, has been used in patients in whom supportive therapy failed to resolve ACPO. Here, we report the results of administering neostigmine to treat ACPO in children with hematologic malignancies.
Between September 2005 and December 2009, 10 patients (8 male and 2 female) were diagnosed with ACPO at the Department of Pediatrics, Catholic University of Korea. Diagnosis of ACPO was based on typical clinical features as well as colonic dilatation found on abdominal CT imaging. Neostigmine was administered subcutaneously at a dosage of 0.01 mg/kg/dose (maximum 0.5 mg) twice daily for a maximum of 5 total doses. ACPO was determined to be responsive to neostigmine if the patient showed both stool passage and improvement of clinical symptoms.
The study group included 8 acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients, 1 patient with malignant lymphoma, and 1 patient with juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia. The median age at ACPO diagnosis was 8.5 years (range, 3-14). Overall, 8 patients (80%) showed therapeutic response to neostigmine at a median of 29 hours after the initial administration (range, 1-70). Two patients (20%) showed side effects of grade 2 or above, but none complained of cardiovascular symptoms that required treatment.
In this study, ACPO was diagnosed most often in late-childhood ALL patients. Subcutaneous neostigmine can be used to effectively treat ACPO diagnosed in children with hematologic malignancies without major cardiovascular complications.
Acute colonic pseudo-obstruction; Neostigmine; Children; Hematologic malignancies
We investigated the outcome of idarubicin plus N4-behenoyl-1-β-D-arabinofuranosyl cytosine (BHAC)-based chemotherapy (BHAC group, n=149) compared to idarubicin plus cytarabine-based chemotherapy (cytarabine group, n=191) for childhood acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Between January 1996 and December 2005, 340 children with AML from 5 university hospitals in Korea received the BHAC-based or cytarabine-based chemotherapy, with or without hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. After induction therapy, 264 (77.6%) of 340 children achieved a complete remission (CR) and 43 (12%) achieved a partial remission (PR). The CR rate in the BHAC group was higher than in the cytarabine group (85.2% vs. 71.7%, P=0.004). However, the overall response rate (CR+PR) was not different between the two groups (93.3% vs. 87.9%, P=0.139). The 5-yr estimates of overall survival (OS) of children in the two groups were similar (54.9% for the BHAC group vs. 52.4% for the cytarabine group, P=0.281). Although the results were analyzed according to the treatment type and cytogenetic risk, the OS showed no significant difference between the BHAC group and the cytarabine group. In the present study, the clinical outcomes of the BHAC-based chemotherapy, consisting of BHAC, idarubicin, and 6-TG, are comparable to that of the cytarabine-based chemotherapy for childhood AML.
Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute; Enocitabine; Childhood
Previously published studies on Kikuchi disease (KD) have frequently addressed the computed tomography (CT) findings in the adult population, however, only a few studies have been reported for the pediatric age group. The purpose of this study is to analyze the clinical characteristics and imaging features of KD in children. Fifteen children (2-14 yr) who had a neck CT and pathology diagnosis of KD were included in this study. Clinical features, including the duration of lymphadenopathy and fever, prognosis, and laboratory values, were evaluated. We analyzed the sites, size, and lymph node pattern as seen on their CT scans. The median duration of fever was 10 days. Fourteen patients experienced improvement in their condition, although four of these patients experienced recurrent episodes of KD. All patients had affected cervical nodes at level V. Perinodal infiltrates were observed in the affected cervical nodes in 14 cases (93%), and non-enhancing necrosis was also noted within the affected cervical nodes in 10 cases (63%). In conclusion, the combination of imaging findings in conjunction with clinical findings of KD may help to determine whether or not to perform pathology analysis and follow-up studies.
Lymphatic Diseases; Histiocytic Necrotizing Lymphadenitis; Child
Long-term survivors of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) during childhood and adolescence are at risk of developing endocrine complications. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the long-term endocrine complications and their associated risk factors among such patients. We reviewed the data from 111 patients (59 males and 52 females) who underwent HSCT at the mean age of 8.3±4.1 yr. Thirty patients (27.0%) had growth impairment, and seven (21.2%) out of 33 patients who attained final height reached final height below 2 standard deviation (SD). The final height SD score of the patients conditioned with total body irradiation (TBI) was significantly lower than that of the patients conditioned without TBI (-1.18±1.14 vs. -0.19±0.78, P=0.011). Thirteen patients (11.7%) developed hypothyroidism (11 subclinical, 2 central) 3.8±1.8 (range 1.6-6.2) yr after HSCT. Nineteen (65.5%) out of 29 females had evidence of gonadal dysfunction, and 18 (64.3%) out of 28 males had evidence of gonadal dysfunction. The risk for gonadal dysfunction was significantly higher in females conditioned with busulfan/cyclophosphamide (P=0.003). These results suggest that the majority of patients treated with HSCT during childhood and adolescence have one or more endocrine complications. Therefore, multiple endocrine functions should be monitored periodically after HSCT until they reach adult age.
Endocrine Complications; Transplantation; Childhood
Gastrointestinal system involvement is one of the principal complications seen in the recipients of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), and it is also a major cause of morbidity and death in these patients. The major gastrointestinal complications include typhlitis (neutropenic enterocolitis), pseudomembranous enterocolitis, viral enteritis, graft-versus-host disease, benign pneumatosis intestinalis, intestinal thrombotic microangiopathy, and post-transplantation lymphoproliferative disease. As these patients present with nonspecific abdominal symptoms, evaluation with using such imaging modalities as ultrasonography and CT is essential in order to assess the extent of gastrointestinal involvement and to diagnose these complications. We present here a pictorial review of the imaging features and other factors involved in the diagnosis of these gastrointestinal complications in pediatric HSCT recipients.
Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; Pediatric; Complications; Gastrointestinal tract
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have recently been identified and characterized in humans. Moreover, MSC secrete cytokines that can support hematopoietic progenitor growth. In the present study, we evaluated whether the efficacy of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is improved by their co-transplantation with MSC, and whether this is positively correlated with the dose of infused MSCs. Accordingly, irradiated NOD/SCID mice were transplanted with 1×105 human CD34+ cells in the presence or absence of culture expanded MSCs (1×106 or 5×106). We evaluated human hematopoietic cell engraftment by flow cytometry and assessed MSC tissue distributions by fluorescence in situ hybridization. We found that CD45+ and CD34+ cell levels were significantly elevated in a dose-dependent manner in cotransplanted mice 4 weeks after transplantation. The engraftments of CD33+ and CD19+ cells also increased dose-dependently. However, the engraftment of CD3+ cells did not increase after co-transplantation with MSCs. Human Y chromosome+ cells were observed in multiple tissues and were more frequently observed in mice co-transplanted with 5×106 rather than 1×106 MSCs. These results suggest that MSCs are capable of enhancing hematopoietic cell engraftment and distribution in multiple organs in a dose-dependent fashion.
Mesenchymal Stem Cells; Hematopoietic Stem Cells; Transplantation