BACKGROUND: Posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) is a distinct entity with incompletely known predisposing factors. The aim of this study is to describe the incidence, risk factors, clinical course, and outcome of PRES in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
PROCEDURE: Patients aged 1.0 to 17.9 years diagnosed with ALL from July 2008 to December 2015 and treated according to the Nordic Society of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology (NOPHO) ALL2008 protocol were included. Patients with PRES were identified in the prospective NOPHO leukemia toxicity registry, and clinical data were collected from the medical records.
RESULTS: The study group included 1378 patients, of whom 52 met the criteria for PRES. The cumulative incidence of PRES at one month was 1.7% (95% CI, 1.1-2.5) and at one year 3.7% (95% CI, 2.9-4.9). Older age (hazard ratios [HR] for each one-year increase in age 1.1; 95% CI, 1.0-1.2, P = 0.001) and T-cell immunophenotype (HR, 2.9; 95% CI, 1.6-5.3, P = 0.0005) were associated with PRES. Central nervous system (CNS) involvement (odds ratios [OR] = 2.8; 95% CI, 1.2-6.5, P = 0.015) was associated with early PRES and high-risk block treatment (HR = 2.63; 95% CI, 1.1-6.4, P = 0.033) with late PRES. At follow-up of the PRES patients, seven patients had epilepsy and seven had neurocognitive difficulties.
CONCLUSION: PRES is a neurotoxicity in the treatment of childhood ALL with both acute and long-term morbidity. Older age, T-cell leukemia, CNS involvement and high-risk block treatment are risk factors for PRES.