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1.  Recurrent macrophage activation syndrome since toddler age in an adolescent boy with HLA B27 positive juvenile ankylosing spondylitis 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2016;59(10):421-424.
Recurrent macrophage activation syndrome (MAS) is very rare. We present the case of an adolescent boy with human leukocyte antigen (HLA) B27-positive ankylosing spondylitis (AS), who experienced episodes of recurrent MAS since he was a toddler. A 16-year-old boy was admitted because of remittent fever with pancytopenia and splenomegaly after surgical intervention for an intractable perianal abscess. He had been diagnosed with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) 4 different times, which was well controlled with intravenous immunoglobulin and steroids since the age of 3. We were unable to identify the cause for the HLH. He remained symptom-free until the development of back pain and right ankle joint pain with swelling at 15 years of age. He was diagnosed with HLA B27-positive AS with bilateral active sacroiliitis. He showed symptom aggravation despite taking naproxen and methotrexate, and the symptoms improved with etanercept. On admission, his laboratory data showed leukopenia with high ferritin and triglyceride levels. Bone marrow biopsy examination showed histiocytic hyperplasia with hemophagocytosis. There was no evidence of infection. He received naproxen alone, and his symptoms and laboratory data improved without any other immunomodulatory medications. Genetic study revealed no primary HLH or inflammasome abnormalities. In this case, underlying autoimmune disease should have been considered as the cause of recurrent MAS in the young patient once primary HLH was excluded.
PMCID: PMC5099290  PMID: 27826329
Macrophage activation syndrome; Ankylosing spondylitis; HLA-B27
2.  Hepatic veno-occlusive disease may develop in secondary iron overloaded mice after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation with total body irradiation 
Blood research  2015;50(3):140-146.
The outcome of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is poor in patients with secondary iron overload (SIO). We evaluated the relationship between SIO and veno-occlusive disease (VOD) in an animal model with radiation for HSCT.
We used a 6-week-old female BDF1 (H-2b/d) and a male C57/BL6 (H-2b) as recipient and donor, respectively. Recipient mice were injected intraperitoneally with 10 mg of iron dextran (cumulative doses of 50 mg, 100 mg, and 200 mg). All mice received total body irradiation for HSCT. We obtained peripheral blood for alanine transaminase (ALT) and liver for pathologic findings, lipid hyperoxide (LH) as reactive oxygen species (ROS), and liver iron content (LIC) on post-HSCT day 1 and day 7. The VOD score was assessed by pathologic findings.
ALT levels increased depending on cumulative iron dose, with significant differences between days 1 and 7 for mice loaded with 200 mg of iron (P<0.01). LH levels significantly increased in mice loaded with 200 mg of iron compared to those in other groups (P<0.01). For mice loaded with 100 mg of iron, the LH level depended on the radiation dose (P<0.01). There was a statistically significant relationship among ALT, LH, and LIC parameters (P<0.05). Pathologic scores for VOD correlated with LIC (P<0.01).
Livers with SIO showed high ROS levels depending on cumulative iron dose, and correlations with elevated liver enzyme and LIC. The pathologic score for VOD was associated with the LIC. Our results suggest that SIO may induce VOD after HSCT with irradiation.
PMCID: PMC4595579  PMID: 26457280
Iron overload; Hepatic veno-occlusive disease; Radiation; Reactive oxygen species
3.  Pulmonary hemorrhage in pediatric lupus anticoagulant hypoprothrombinemia syndrome 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2014;57(4):202-205.
Lupus anticoagulant-hypoprothrombinemia syndrome (LAHPS), a very rare disease that is caused by the presence of antifactor II antibodies, is usually counterbalanced by the prothrombotic effect of lupus anticoagulant (LAC). Patients with LAHPS are treated using fresh frozen plasma, steroids, immunosuppressive agents, and immunoglobulins for managing the disease and controlling hemorrhages. Notably, steroids are the important treatment for treating hypoprothrombinemia and controlling the bleeding. However, some patients suffer from severe, life-threatening hemorrhages, when factor II levels remain very low in spite of treatment with steroids. Here, we report a case of LAHPS in a 15-year-old girl who experienced pulmonary hemorrhage with rapid progression. She was referred to our hospital owing to easy bruising and prolonged bleeding. She was diagnosed with LAHPS that presented with pancytopenia, positive antinuclear antibody, proloned prothrombin time, activated partial thromboplastin time, positive LAC antibody, and factor II deficiency. Her treatment included massive blood transfusion, high-dose methylprednisolone, vitamin K, and immunoglobulin. However, she died due to uncontrolled pulmonary hemorrhage.
PMCID: PMC4030123  PMID: 24868219
Lupus anticoagulant-hypoprothrombinemia syndrome; Steroids; Immunoglobulins
4.  A case of familial X-linked thrombocytopenia with a novel WAS gene mutation 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2013;56(6):265-268.
Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) is an inherited X-linked disorder. The WAS gene is located on the X chromosome and undergoes mutations, which affect various domains of the WAS protein, resulting in recurrent infection, eczema, and thrombocytopenia. However, the clinical features and severity of the disease vary according to the type of mutations in the WAS gene. Here, we describe the case of a 4-year-old boy with a history of marked thrombocytopenia since birth, who presented with recurrent herpes simplex infection and late onset of eczema. Examination of his family history revealed that older brother, who died from intracranial hemorrhage, had chronic idiopathic thrombocytopenia. Therefore, we proceeded with genetic analysis and found a new deletion mutation in the WAS gene: c.858delC (p.ser287Leufs*21) as a hemizygous form.
PMCID: PMC3693046  PMID: 23807894
Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome; Mutation; Sequence deletion
5.  Increase in Antibiotic-Resistant Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections in Febrile Neutropenic Children 
Infection & Chemotherapy  2016;48(3):181-189.
The incidence of bacteremia caused by Gram-negative bacteria has increased recently in febrile neutropenic patients with the increase of antibiotic-resistant Gram-negative bacterial infections. This study aimed to identify the distribution of causative bacteria and the proportion of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in bacteremia diagnosed in febrile neutropenic children.
Materials and Methods
The medical records of febrile neutropenic children diagnosed with bacteremia between 2010 and 2014 were retrospectively reviewed. The causative bacteria and proportion of antibiotic-resistant bacteria were investigated and compared yearly during the study period. The clinical impact of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections was also determined.
A total of 336 bacteremia episodes were identified. During the entire study period, 181 (53.9%) and 155 (46.1%) episodes were caused by Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, respectively. Viridans streptococci (25.9%), Klebsiella spp. (16.7%), and Escherichia coli (16.4%) were the most frequent causative bacteria. The overall distribution of causative bacteria was not significantly different annually. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria were identified in 85 (25.3%) episodes, and the proportion of antibiotic-resistant bacteria was not significantly different annually. Extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing E. coli and Klebsiella spp. were most common among antibiotic-resistant Gram-negative bacteria, and they accounted for 30.6% (n = 34) of the identified E. coli and K. pneumoniae. Methicillin-resistant coagulase-negative staphylococci were most common among antibiotic-resistant Gram-positive bacteria, and it accounted for 88.5% (n = 23) of the identified coagulase-negative staphylococci. Antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, especially antibiotic-resistant Gram-negative bacterial infections, caused significantly higher mortality due to bacteremia compared with non-antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections (P <0.001).
Recently, Gram-negative bacteria caused more bacteremia cases than Gram-positive bacteria in febrile neutropenic children, and antibiotic-resistant Gram-negative bacterial infections increased. Antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections caused poorer prognosis compared with non-antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, and therefore, continuous surveillance for changing epidemiology of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections and their clinical impact is necessary.
PMCID: PMC5047999  PMID: 27659431
Fever; Neutropenia; Bacteremia; Antibiotic resistance; Child
6.  Aminoglycoside therapy for childhood urinary tract infection due to extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli or Klebsiella pneumoniae 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2015;15:414.
The rate of urinary tract infections (UTIs) due to extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing bacterial strains requiring carbapenem therapy has been increasing in children. This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of non-carbapenem antibiotic therapy on childhood UTIs caused by ESBL-producing Escherichia coli or Klebsiella pneumoniae.
Medical records of children diagnosed with febrile UTIs due to E. coli or K. pneumoniae between 2010 and 2014 were retrospectively reviewed. The enrolled children were divided into two groups: the ESBL group and the non-ESBL group. Clinical characteristics and therapeutic responses were compared between the two groups.
A total of 211 episodes of UTI (204 caused by E. coli; seven caused by K. pneumoniae) were identified in 205 children. Twenty-two (10.4 %) episodes were categorized into the ESBL group. There was no significant difference in the type of antibiotic administered between the two groups. No carbapenems were administered; however, aminoglycosides were administered for 79.1 % of the total episodes. Although empirical antibiotics were appropriate for more episodes in the non-ESBL group compared with the ESBL group (100.0 % vs. 90.9 %, p = 0.011), there were no significant differences in the frequency of defervescence, bacterial eradication from the urine, acute pyelonephritis and vesicoureteral reflux or fever duration between the two groups.
Non-carbapenem antibiotics showed favourable therapeutic effects on childhood UTIs caused by ESBL-producing strains. Aminoglycosides can be an alternative to carbapenems in such cases.
PMCID: PMC4604622  PMID: 26464143
Urinary tract infection; Escherichia coli; Klebsiella pneumoniae; Beta-lactamase; Child
7.  Clinical Features and Prognosis of Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis in Korean Children with Hematologic/Oncologic Diseases 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2015;30(8):1121-1128.
Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) is the most frequent form of invasive fungal diseases in immunocompromised patients. However, there are only a few studies on IPA in immunocompromised children in Korea. This study was designed to characterize IPA in Korean children with hematologic/oncologic diseases. Medical records of children with hematologic/oncologic diseases receiving antifungal therapy were reviewed. The enrolled children were divided into the IPA group (proven and probable IPA) and non-IPA group, and the clinical characteristics and prognosis were compared between the two groups. During the study period, 265 courses of antifungal therapy were administered to 166 children. Among them, two (0.8%) episodes of proven IPA, 35 (13.2%) of probable IPA, and 52 (19.6%) of possible IPA were diagnosed. More children in the IPA group suffered from neutropenia lasting for more than two weeks (51.4% vs. 21.9%, P<0.001) and showed halo signs on the chest computed tomography (78.4% vs. 40.7%, P<0.001) than in the non-IPA group. No other clinical factors showed significant differences between the two groups. Amphotericin B deoxycholate was administered as a first line antifungal agent in 33 (89.2%) IPA group episodes, and eventually voriconazole was administered in 27 (73.0%) episodes. Ten (27.0%) children in the IPA group died within 12 weeks of antifungal therapy. In conclusion, early use of chest computed tomography to identify halo signs in immunocompromised children who are expected to have prolonged neutropenia can be helpful for early diagnosis of IPA and improving prognosis of children with IPA.
Graphical Abstract
PMCID: PMC4520943  PMID: 26240490
Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis; Immunocompromised Host; Child
8.  Serum galactomannan index for early prediction of mortality in immunocompromised children with invasive pulmonary aspergillosis 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2015;15:271.
Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) is the most common invasive fungal disease in immunocompromised patients, and it has a 30 % mortality rate despite appropriate antifungal therapy. This retrospective study was performed to determine risk factors for mortality in immunocompromised children with IPA.
Medical records of 45 probable/proven IPA cases diagnosed in children with hematologic/oncologic diseases were reviewed. Selected cases were divided into the survival (n = 30) and fatality (n = 15) groups based on survival at 12 weeks after antifungal therapy. Clinical characteristics and serum galactomannan indices (GMIs) were compared between the two groups.
Significantly more children in the fatality group were male (p = 0.044), not in complete remission of the underlying malignancies (p = 0.016), and had received re-induction/salvage or palliative chemotherapy (p = 0.035) than those in the survival group. However, none of these factors was significantly associated with mortality in a multivariate analysis. Serum GMIs were higher in the fatality group than in the survival group during the entire period of antifungal therapy, and serum GMI at 1 week after antifungal therapy was most significantly associated with mortality. A serum GMI > 1.50 at 1 week after antifungal therapy exhibited a sensitivity and specificity of 61.5 % and 89.3 %, respectively, in predicting mortality within 12 weeks after antifungal therapy.
Higher serum GMI in the early phase of antifungal therapy was associated with mortality in immunocompromised children with IPA. These children should receive more intensive care for IPA than others.
PMCID: PMC4501281  PMID: 26168914
Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis; Galactomannan; Prognosis; Immunocompromised host; Child
9.  Examining Impacts of Allergic Diseases on Psychological Problems and Tobacco Use in Korean Adolescents: The 2008–2011 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(4):e0125172.
Asthma during adolescence can induce social, psychological, and behavioral problems. We examined the impact of asthma and other allergic diseases on psychological symptoms and health risk behaviors among South Korean adolescents.
In this population-based cross-sectional study, 3192 adolescents (10–18 years of age) participating in the 2008–2011 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were enrolled. Psychological problems associated with clinically diagnosed asthma, allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis were assessed using questionnaires and surveys. Data was analyzed using logistic regression to determine the association of depression with allergic disease while controlling for age, sex, body mass index, smoking experience, and alcohol use.
Asthma and atopic dermatitis were associated with a higher prevalence of depression (17.2% and 13%, respectively). After adjusting for the covariates, asthma patients were approximately two times as likely to have depression as non-allergic participants (odds ratio, 1.81; 95% confidence interval, 1.22–2.68). Psychosocial stress significantly increased in the following order: no allergy, any allergy without asthma, asthma only, and asthma with any allergy (p for linear trend = 0.01). The asthma without other allergies group showed the highest prevalence of cigarette smoking (p = 0.007).
In this study, asthma with or without other allergies was significantly related to increases in depression, psychosocial stress, and smoking experience. Thus, care should be taken to adjust treatment to account for the psychological symptoms and health risk behaviors common among asthmatic adolescents.
PMCID: PMC4405203  PMID: 25897790
10.  A small Askin’s tumor presenting with early onset of chest pain 
Most primitive neuroectodermal tumor of the chest wall destroy the rib, chest wall muscles, diaphragm, and lung or extend into the spinal compartment, resulting in a large-sized tumor and symptoms. In contrast, we recently encountered a rare case of Askin’s tumor presenting with early-onset chest pain despite the small size. After resection of the tumor and adjuvant chemotherapy, the patient remains disease-free over 3 years of follow-up.
PMCID: PMC4381374  PMID: 25884603
Primitive neuroectodermal tumor; Askin’s tumor; Chest wall
11.  Anti-leukemic properties of deferasirox via apoptosis in murine leukemia cell lines 
Blood research  2015;50(1):33-39.
Although deferasirox (DFX) is reported to have anti-tumor effects, its anti-leukemic activity remains unclear. We evaluated the effect of DFX treatment on two murine lymphoid leukemia cell lines, and clarified the mechanisms underlying its potential anti-leukemic activity.
L1210 and A20 murine lymphoid leukemia cell lines were treated with DFX. Cell viability and apoptosis were evaluated by the 3-(4,5-dimethylthaizol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethylphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium (MTS) assay and fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis, respectively. Immunoblotting was performed to detect the expression of key apoptotic proteins.
In dose- and time-dependent manner, DFX decreased viability and increased apoptosis of murine leukemic cells. Fas expression was significantly higher in A20 cells than in L1210 cells at all DFX concentrations tested. Although both cell lines exhibited high caspase 3 and caspase 9 expression, a critical component of the intrinsic mitochondrial apoptotic pathway, expression was greater in L1210 cells. In contrast, caspase 8, a key factor in the extrinsic apoptotic pathway, showed greater expression in A20 cells. Cytochrome c expression was significantly higher in L1210 cells. In both cell lines, co-treatment with ferric chloride and DFX diminished the expression of these intracellular proteins, as compared to DFX treatment alone.
Treatment with DFX increased caspase-dependent apoptosis in two murine lymphoid leukemia cell lines, with differing apoptotic mechanisms in each cell line.
PMCID: PMC4377336  PMID: 25830128
Lymphoid leukemia; Deferasirox; Apoptosis; Caspase
14.  Use of intravenous immunoglobulin in a disseminated varicella infection in an immunocompromised child 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2014;57(8):370-373.
Varicella-zoster virus infection can lead to severe illness in immunocompromised patients. Further the mortality rate of disseminated varicella infection is extremely high particularly in immunocompromised children. We report a case of disseminated varicella infection in a child with acute lymphoblastic leukemia who was receiving chemotherapy, but was initially admitted with only for acute abdominal pain. The patient rapidly developed severe complications, including acute respiratory distress syndrome, acute hepatitis, disseminated intravascular coagulation, and encephalopathy. Acyclovir is a highly potent inhibitor of varicella-zoster virus infection. However, owing to rapid disease progression, it might not be sufficient to control a disseminated varicella infection, especially in immunocompromised patients. Immunoglobulin neutralize virus invasion and suppress viremia, acting synergistically with acyclovir. In this case, early administration of acyclovir and a high-dose of immunoglobulin, combined with mechanical respiratory support, proved adequate for treatment of this severe illness.
PMCID: PMC4155182  PMID: 25210525
Varicella-zoster virus; Acyclovir; Immunoglobulin
15.  Immunogenicity and Safety of an Inactivated Trivalent Split Influenza Virus Vaccine in Young Children with Recurrent Wheezing 
Influenza virus vaccination is recommended for children, but so far, active vaccination has not been achieved because most parents lack knowledge of vaccine safety and many doctors are reluctant to administer vaccine due to concerns that steroids might alter immunogenicity. The aim of this study was to compare the immunogenicity and safety of inactivated trivalent split influenza virus vaccine between children with recurrent wheezing and healthy children of the same age group. Sixty-eight healthy children and 62 children with recurrent wheezing took part in this study. Seroconversion rates, seroprotection rates, geometric mean titers (GMTs), and geometric mean titer ratios (GMTRs) were measured by a hemagglutination inhibition assay for the assessment of immunogenicity. Solicited and unsolicited local and systemic adverse events were measured for the assessment of safety. Regarding immunogenicity, the seroconversion and seroprotection rates showed no difference overall between healthy children and children with recurrent wheezing. Also, no difference was observed between steroid-treated and nontreated groups with recurrent wheezing. Generally, the GMTs after vaccination were higher in the one-dose vaccination groups for healthy children and children with recurrent wheezing, but the GMTRs revealed different results according to strain in the two groups. Regarding safety, solicited local and systemic adverse events showed no differences between healthy children and children with recurrent wheezing. This study demonstrates that inactivated split influenza virus vaccine is able to induce protective immune responses in healthy children, as observed in previous studies, as well as in children with recurrent wheezing who require frequent steroid treatment.
PMCID: PMC3675982  PMID: 23536692
16.  Evaluation of risk for graft-versus-host disease in children who receive less than the full doses of mini-dose methotrexate for graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2013;56(11):490-495.
The use of cyclosporine and mini-dose methotrexate (MTX) is a common strategy for graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis in allogeneic transplants. We investigated whether patients who receive fewer than the planned MTX doses are at increased risk for GVHD.
The study cohort included 103 patients who received allogeneic transplants at the Department of Pediatrics of The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, from January 2010 to December 2011. MTX was administered on days 1, 3, 6, and 11 after transplant at a dose of 5 mg/m2 each. Within the cohort, 76 patients (74%) received all 4 doses of MTX [MTX(4) group], while 27 patients (26%) received 0-3 doses [MTX(0-3) group].
Although there was no difference in neutrophil engraftment between the 2 groups, platelet engraftment was significantly faster in the MTX(4) group (median, 15 days), compared to the MTX(0-3) group (median, 25 days; P=0.034). The incidence of grades II-IV acute GVHD was not different between the MTX(4) and MTX(0-3) groups (P=0.417). In the multivariate study, human leukocyte antigen mismatch was the most significant factor causing grades II-IV acute GVHD (P=0.002), followed by female donor to male recipient transplant (P=0.034). No difference was found between the MTX(4) and MTX (0-3) groups regarding grades III-IV acute GVHD, chronic GVHD, and disease-free survival.
Our results indicate that deviations from the full dose schedule of MTX for GVHD prophylaxis do not lead to increased incidence of either acute or chronic GVHD.
PMCID: PMC3859882  PMID: 24348662
Methotrexate; Graft-versus-host disease; Prophylaxis
17.  Liver abscess due to Klebsiella pneumoniae in a healthy 12-year-old boy 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2013;56(11):496-499.
Pyogenic liver abscess (PLA) is rare in healthy children. We report a case of PLA in an immunocompetent 12-year-old boy. Percutaneous catheter drainage was performed for the abscess. In addition, parenteral antibiotics were administered for 3 weeks. Klebsiella pneumoniae was detected in the culture of blood and drained fluid. Here, we present this case and a brief review of the literature on this subject.
PMCID: PMC3859883  PMID: 24348663
Pyogenic liver abscess; Drainage; Antibiotics; Klebsiella pneumoniae
18.  Clinical characteristics and antimicrobial susceptibilities of viridans streptococcal bacteremia during febrile neutropenia in patients with hematologic malignancies: a comparison between adults and children 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2013;13:273.
This study was performed to compare the clinical characteristics and antibiotic susceptibilities of viridans streptococcal bacteremia (VSB) between febrile neutropenic adults and children with hematologic malignancies.
The consecutive medical records of neutropenic patients with hematologic malignancies who were admitted to the Catholic Blood and Marrow Transplantation Center between April 2009 and July 2012, and who were subsequently diagnosed with VSB were reviewed retrospectively. A comparison was made between the clinical and laboratory characteristics of adults and pediatric patients and also between patients with cefepime susceptible or not susceptible VSB.
A total of 202 episodes (141 in adults, 61 in children) of VSB were identified. Among them, 26 (12.9%) cases had severe complications including four (2.0%) cases of death attributable to VSB. For antibacterial prophylaxis, most adults received ciprofloxacin (97.1%), but children more frequently received trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (86.9%). Oral mucositis (p = 0.005) and abdominal pain (p = 0.001) were found more frequently in adults, and cough was found more frequently in children (p = 0.004). The occurrence rates of severe complications and death attributable to VSB were not significantly different between adults and children. Susceptibility rate to cefepime was significantly higher in adults than children (85.7% vs. 66.1%, p = 0.002). However, in multivariate analysis, cefepime susceptibility had no impact on clinical outcome.
There was no significant difference in clinical outcome between adults and children with VSB despite a difference in cefepime susceptibility. Hence, different antibiotic treatment strategies may not be necessary.
PMCID: PMC3685537  PMID: 23773209
Viridans streptococci; Bacteremia; Neutropenia; Fever
19.  Evaluation of changes in random blood glucose and body mass index during and after completion of chemotherapy in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2012;55(4):121-127.
Improved survival of patients with childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) has drawn attention to the potential for late consequences of previous treatments among survivors, including metabolic syndrome. In this study, we evaluated changes in 3 parameters, namely, random blood glucose, body mass index (BMI), and Z score for BMI (Z-BMI), in children with ALL during chemotherapy and after completion of treatment.
Patients newly diagnosed with ALL from January, 2005 to December, 2008 at Saint Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, who completed treatment with chemotherapy only were included (n=107). Random glucose, BMI, and Z-BMI were recorded at 5 intervals: at diagnosis, before maintenance treatment, at completion of maintenance treatment, and 6 and 12 months after completion of maintenance treatment. Similar analyses were conducted on 2 subcohorts based on ALL risk groups.
For random glucose, a paired comparison showed significantly lower levels at 12 months post-treatment compared to those at initial diagnosis (P<0.001) and before maintenance (P<0.001). The Z-BMI score was significantly higher before maintenance than at diagnosis (P<0.001), but decreased significantly at the end of treatment (P<0.001) and remained low at 6 months (P<0.001) and 12 months (P<0.001) post-treatment. Similar results were obtained upon analysis of risk group-based subcohorts.
For a cohort of ALL patients treated without allogeneic transplantation or cranial irradiation, decrease in random glucose and Z-BMI after completion of chemotherapy does not indicate future glucose intolerance or obesity.
PMCID: PMC3346834  PMID: 22574072
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia; Random glucose; Body mass index; Child
20.  Outcome of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia in second complete remission: a single institution study 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2012;55(3):100-106.
The survival rate for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) has improved significantly. However, overall prognosis for the 20 to 25% of patients who relapse is poor, and allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) offers the best chance for cure. In this study, we identified significant prognostic variables by analyzing the outcomes of allogeneic HSCT in ALL patients in second complete remission (CR).
Fifty-three ALL patients (42 men, 79%) who received HSCT in second CR from August 1991 to February 2009 were included (26 sibling donor HSCTs, 49%; 42 bone marrow transplantations, 79%). Study endpoints included cumulative incidence of acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), relapse, 1-year transplant-related mortality (TRM), disease-free survival (DFS), and overall survival (OS).
Cumulative incidences of acute GVHD (grade 2 or above) and chronic GVHD were 45.3% and 28.5%, respectively. The estimated 5-year DFS and OS for the cohort was 45.2±6.8% and 48.3±7%, respectively. Only donor type, i.e., sibling versus unrelated, showed significant correlation with DFS in multivariate analysis (P=0.010). The rates of relapse and 1 year TRM were 28.9±6.4% and 26.4±6.1%, respectively, and unrelated donor HSCT (P=0.002) and HLA mismatch (P=0.022) were significantly correlated with increased TRM in univariate analysis.
In this single institution study spanning more than 17 years, sibling donor HSCT was the only factor predicting a favorable result in multivariate analysis, possibly due to increased TRM resulting from unrelated donor HSCT.
PMCID: PMC3315619  PMID: 22474465
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia; Child; Second complete remission; Transplantation
21.  Blockade of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) Aggravates the Severity of Acute Graft-versus-host Disease (GVHD) after Experimental Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (allo-HSCT) 
Immune Network  2011;11(6):368-375.
Recent clinical observation reported that there was a significant correlation between change in circulating vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) levels and the occurrence of severe acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) following allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT), but the action mechanisms of VEGF in GVHD have not been demonstrated.
This study investigated whether or not blockade of VEGF has an effect on acute GVHD in a lethally irradiated murine allo-HSCT model of B6 (H-2b)→B6D2F1 (H-2b/d). Syngeneic or allogeneic recipient mice were injected subcutaneously with anti-VEGF peptides, dRK6 (50 µg/dose) or control diluent every other day for 2 weeks (total 7 doses).
Administration of the dRK6 peptide after allo-HSCT significantly reduced survival with greaterclinical GVHD scores and body weight loss. Allogeneic recipients injected with the dRK6 peptide exhibited significantly increased circulating levels of VEGF and expansion of donor CD3+ T cells on day +7 compared to control treated animals. The donor CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell subsets have differential expansion caused by the dRK6 injection. The circulating VEGF levels were reduced on day +14 regardless of blockade of VEGF.
Together these findings demonstrate that the allo-reactive responses after allo-HSCT are exaggerated by the blockade of VEGF. VEGF seems to be consumed during the progression of acute GVHD in this murine allo-HSCT model.
PMCID: PMC3275706  PMID: 22346777
Vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGF); Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; Acute graft-versus-host disease; VEGF blockade; dRK6
22.  Prognostic Implications of the NIH Consensus Criteria in Children with Chronic Graft-versus-Host Disease 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2011;52(5):779-786.
In this study, we analyzed a cohort of children with chronic graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) according to the NIH consensus classification (NCC) in order to observe whether global assessment at diagnosis correlates with GvHD-specific endpoints. We then studied the clinical course of these patients, specifically with regards to episodes of GvHD exacerbation requiring treatment escalation.
Materials and Methods
Recipients of either allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT) or peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (PBSCT) from January 2006 to August 2008 at the Department of Pediatrics, The Catholic University of Korea were evaluated for chronic GvHD, which was diagnosed according to the NCC. The course of chronic GvHD in these patients was then followed.
Of 59 evaluable patients, 23 developed chronic GvHD for a cumulative incidence of 39.3%. Upon multivariate analysis, previous acute GvHD (≥grade II) had a significant impact on chronic GvHD incidence. With a median duration of systemic treatment for chronic GvHD of 501 days, no significant relationship was found between initial global severity of chronic GvHD and either duration of immunosuppressive treatment or final clinical response to treatment. Fifteen patients (65%) experienced at least one episode of chronic GvHD exacerbation during the period of follow-up, with a median of four exacerbations in the subgroup of patients who experienced such events. Lung GvHD resulted in the highest number of exacerbations per diagnosed patient, followed by oral GvHD.
Analysis of this small cohort indicates that global assessment as proposed by the NCC may have limited correlations with GvHD-specific endpoints, possibly due to the favorable response of children to treatment.
PMCID: PMC3159944  PMID: 21786443
Chronic GvHD; NIH consensus criteria; children
23.  Clinical manifestations of CNS infections caused by enterovirus type 71 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2011;54(1):11-16.
Enterovirus 71, one of the enteroviruses that are responsible for both hand-foot-and-mouth disease and herpangina, can cause neural injury. During periods of endemic spread of hand-foot-andmouth disease caused by enterovirus 71, CNS infections are also frequently diagnosed and may lead to increased complications from neural injury, as well as death. We present the results of our epidemiologic research on the clinical manifestations of children with CNS infections caused by enterovirus 71.
The study group consisted of 42 patients admitted for CNS infection by enterovirus 71 between April 2009 and October 2009 at the Department of Pediatrics of 5 major hospitals affiliated with the Catholic University of Korea. We retrospectively reviewed initial symptoms and laboratory findings on admission, the specimen from which enterovirus 71 was isolated, fever duration, admission period, treatment and progress, and complications. We compared aseptic meningitis patients with encephalitis patients.
Of the 42 patients (23 men, 19 women), hand-foot-and-mouth disease was most prevalent (n=39), followed by herpangina (n=3), upon initial clinical diagnosis. Among the 42 patients, 15 (35.7%) were classified as severe, while 27 (64.3%) were classified as mild. Factors such as age, fever duration, presence of seizure, and use of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) were statistically different between the 2 groups.
Our results indicate that patients with severe infection caused by enterovirus 71 tended to be less than 3 years old, presented with at least 3 days of fever as well as seizure activity, and received IVIG treatment.
PMCID: PMC3040360  PMID: 21359055
Enterovirus A; Human; Central nervous system infections; Child
24.  Outcome of childhood acute promyelocytic leukemia treated using a modified AIDA protocol 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2010;45(4):236-241.
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.
PMCID: PMC3023048  PMID: 21253424
Acute promyelocytic leukemia; Children; All-trans-retinoic acid; Anthracycline
25.  Effect of p16 on glucocorticoid response in a B-cell lymphoblast cell line 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2010;53(7):753-758.
It has been suggested that p16 has a role in glucocorticoid (GC)-related apoptosis in leukemic cells, but the exact mechanisms have yet to be clarified. We evaluated the relationship between the GC response and p16 expression in a lymphoma cell line.
We used p16 siRNA transfection to construct p16-inactivated cells by using the B-cell lymphoblast cell line NC-37. We compared glucocorticoid receptor (GR) expression, apoptosis, and cell viability between control (p16+ NC-37) and p16 siRNA-transfected (p16- NC-37) cells after a single dose of dexamethasone (DX).
In both groups, there was a significant increase in cytoplasmic GR expression, which tended to be higher for p16+ NC-37 cells than for p16- NC37 cells at all times, and the difference at 18 h was significant (P<0.05). Similar patterns of early apoptosis were observed in both groups, and late apoptosis occurred at higher levels at 18 h when the GR had already been downregulated (P<0.05). Cell viability decreased in both groups but the degree of reduction was more severe in p16+ NC-37 cells after 18 h (P<0.05).
These results suggest a relationship between GR expression and cell cycle inhibition, in which the absence of p16 leads to reduced cell sensitivity to DX.
PMCID: PMC3004487  PMID: 21189951
Glucocorticoid; Lymphoblast; p16

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