No major cognitive impairment in young children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia using chemotherapy only: a prospective longitudinal study.
SourceJournal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, 24, 2, (2002), pp. 106-114
Article / Letter to editor
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Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
SubjectBiomedical Magnetic Resonance; Biomedische Magnetische Resonantie
PURPOSE: To study, using serial neuropsychological assessment and evaluation of school achievement, persistent neuropsychological late effects in children treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) at a young age with chemotherapy only. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Twenty consecutive patients underwent three evaluations, including 12 psychometric measures beside IQ. The authors applied strict methodology and a prospective-longitudinal design that started at diagnosis and extended to a median follow-up of 7 years. This report focuses on the outcome of the last evaluation. Test results were compared with healthy controls and to patients with ALL treated on a previous chemotherapy-only protocol. School achievement was evaluated in patients and their siblings. RESULTS: At the last evaluation, significantly lower test scores in patients compared with controls were found for only 2 of 14 cognitive measures (1 intelligence and 1 attention measure). No great differences were seen between school achievement of patients and siblings. Compared with the previous chemotherapy protocol, a better outcome was seen in the current study group on two measures (one memory and one attention measure). CONCLUSIONS: Children surviving ALL have no major cognitive impairment after chemotherapy, including intrathecal and high-dose intravenous methotrexate. The slightly better outcome in the current group may indicate possible adverse effects of more dexamethasone treatment in the previous group.
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