Seizures during treatment of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia: A population-based cohort study

Stavroula Anastasopoulou, Mats Heyman, Mats A Eriksson, Riitta Niinimäki, Mervi Taskinen, Sirje Mikkel, Goda E Vaitkeviciene, Inga Maria Johannsdottir, Ida Hed Myrberg, Olafur Gisli Jonsson, Bodil Als-Nielsen, Kjeld Schmiegelow, Joanna Banerjee, Susanna Ranta, Arja Harila-Saari


BACKGROUND: Seizures are common in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). As ALL survival rates are improving, the challenge to minimize treatment related side effects and late sequelae rises. Here, we studied the frequency, timing, etiology and risk factors of seizures in ALL patients.

METHODS: The study included children aged 1-17.9 years at diagnosis of B-cell-precursor and T cell ALL who were treated according to the Nordic Society of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology (NOPHO) ALL2008 protocol between 2008 and 2015. Detailed patient data were acquired from the NOPHO ALL2008 registry and by review of medical records.

RESULTS: Seizures occurred in 81/1464 (5.5%) patients. The cumulative incidence of seizures at one months was 1.7% (95% CI: 1.2-2.5) and at one year 5.3% (95% CI 4.2-6.5%). Patients aged 10-17.9 years, those with T cell immunophenotype, CNS involvement, or high-risk induction with dexamethasone had higher risk for seizures in univariable analyses. Only age remained a risk factor in multivariable analyses (the cumulative incidence of seizures for patients 10-17.9 years old at one year was 9.0% (95% CI: 6.2-12.9)). Of the 81 patients with seizures, 43 had posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES), 15 had isolated seizures, nine had sinus venous thrombosis (SVT), three had stroke-like syndrome, and 11 had other neurotoxicities. Epilepsy diagnosis was reported in totally 11 ALL survivors at last follow up.

CONCLUSION: Seizures are relatively common in ALL patients and occur most often in patients with PRES, SVT, or as an isolated symptom. Older children have higher risk of seizures.

TidsskriftEuropean journal of paediatric neurology : EJPN : official journal of the European Paediatric Neurology Society
Sider (fra-til)72-77
Antal sider6
StatusUdgivet - jul. 2020


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