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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 45

of 'Overview of the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children and adolescents'

Thrombosis and acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
Payne JH, Vora AJ
Br J Haematol. 2007;138(4):430.
Venous thrombosis is more frequent in patients treated for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) than other malignancies and has distinctive causes, clinical features and remedies. The reported incidence varies from 1% to 36%, depending on the chemotherapy protocol and whether the reported cases are symptomatic or detected on screening radiography. The risk is thought to arise from increased thrombin generation at diagnosis combined with reduced thrombin inhibitory capacity due to depletion of circulating anti-thrombin (AT) by asparaginase. A number of patient and treatment variables have been reported to influence the risk of thrombosis including hereditary thrombophilia, early insertion of central venous catheters and exposure to a combination of steroids and asparaginase during induction. Erwinia asparaginase is associated with a lower risk of thrombosis compared with Escherichia coli asparaginase. The majority of symptomatic thromboses are related to central venous catheters and involve the upper venous system. Central nervous system thrombosis involving the cerebral venous sinuses is a unique feature of asparaginase-related thrombosis and is reported to occur in 1-3% of patients. Conclusive evidence to support the use of anti-coagulant treatment or AT concentrates for primary prevention is lacking, as is evidence for the efficacy of AT concentrates in the management of established thrombosis. Preventative strategies are hampered by conflicting data on factors that would enable identification of those at highest risk of thrombosis.
Department of Paediatric Haematology, Sheffield Children's Hospital, Sheffield, UK.