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BACKGROUND: Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) with current cure rates reaching 80% emphasizes the necessity to determine treatment related long-term effects. The aim of this study is to estimate the prevalence of overweight, obesity and hepatic late adverse effects in a cohort of ALL survivors treated at the Hematology and Oncology Unit, Pediatrics Department, Menoufia University, Egypt.
METHODS: In this case control study, height, weight and body mass index (BMI) were assessed for 35 pediatric ALL survivors and 15 healthy children. These parameters were plotted on the growth and WHO standard deviation charts for both males and females. Overweight and obesity were defined by BMI > 85th and 95th percentile respectively. Laboratory investigations were done in the form of iron profile, liver enzymes, total and direct bilirubin levels, serum urea &creatinine and detection of hepatitis C virus antibodies by ELISA.
RESULTS: The weight and BMI were significantly higher in the survivors than controls (P value =0.002 and 0.039 respectively). ALT, total & direct bilirubin, serum ferritin and transferrin saturation were significantly higher in the survivors than the controls (P value = 0.03, 0.036, 0.044, 0.006 and 0.03 respectively). Ten (28.6%) of survivors had hepatitis C antibodies with none (0%) of controls (P value =0.02)
CONCLUSIONS: Pediatric ALL survivors are at increased risk of overweight/obesity, hepatic dysfunction in the form of elevated liver enzymes, bilirubin levels and C viral hepatitis. Screening of those survivors for such complications should be considered.
Key words: ALL- Survivors – Obesity- Liver.