Zs. Gács, T. Kiss, T. Constantin, G. Kovács, É. Hosszú
Semmelweis University, Faculty of Medicine, 2nd Dep. Pediatrics, Budapest, Hungary


Treatment of pediatric leukaemia has become increasingly successful, with over 80 % survival rate. Thus the long term side-effects of the treatment have been intensively examined. Changes in bone metabolism in connection with the disease and the treatment have been recently studied.

We investigated 27 children (17 males, 10 females) with ALL, their median age was 6,88 yr (2,33-14,33). Bone mineral density at lumbar spine and of the total body was measured at the diagnosis, during therapy, at the end of therapy and several years after the cessation of therapy.

Lumbar BMD was reduced soon at the diagnosis, decreased during the treatment and tended to improve after cessation of therapy. Total body BMD was in the normal range at the diagnosis, and showed a similar pattern to lumbar BMD during the treatment. Male patients seem to be more affected.

Children with ALL are at risk for osteoporosis because of the disease itself, the chemotherapy and the harmful effects of hospitalization. As more and more children reach adulthood, detection, prophylaxis and treatment of the side effects are essential for a better quality of life.