Hong Kong Med J 2011;17:61-6 | Number 1, February 2011
Reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome in Chinese children induced by chemotherapy: a review of five cases
Kiran M Belaramani, Vincent Lai, CH Li, Anselm CW Lee, NS Kwong
Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Tuen Mun Hospital, Tuen Mun, Hong Kong
This is a retrospective review of the clinico-radiological features and neurological outcomes of reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome episodes in Chinese cancer children receiving chemotherapy in a regional hospital in Hong Kong from 1998 to 2008. Five children (3 males and 2 females) with a mean age of 7 years were identified, four of whom had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and one had a central nervous system germ cell tumour. Presenting symptoms included seizures (100%), altered mental function (100%), headache (40%), and visual disturbance (60%). The mean systolic blood pressure at presentation was 158 mm Hg. Approximately 80% had typical radiological features of reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome. All showed complete recovery after the acute stage, but one subsequently developed epilepsy. Two patients ultimately died of refractory malignant disease. Two others were followed up for a mean of 6 years, and remained neurologically normal. This report was the first case review documenting reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome in Chinese cancer children. The clinico-radiological features and neurological outcomes were similar to those reported in western series. Early recognition of the syndrome is important to facilitate appropriate treatment. The central nervous system damage may not be reversible and thus long-term follow-up is warranted.
Key words: Antineoplastic combined chemotherapy protocols; Child; Magnetic resonance imaging; Posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome; Seizures
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