Objective: We investigated whether previous reports of reduced bone mineral density after management for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (chALL) were confirmed in a more recently treated cohort.
Study design: In a cross-sectional study 75 subjects who were given the diagnosis of chALL between January 1, 1991, and December 31, 1997 (69% standard, 31% high risk), at Denver Children's Hospital and who were 11 to 82 months post-diagnosis with no history of relapse, secondary malignancy, or transplant underwent whole body areal bone mineral densitometry (BMD(A) expressed as age- and sex-standardized z scores), a food frequency questionnaire, and a weight-bearing activity survey.
Results: Overall, the mean whole body BMD(A) z score was normal (+0.22 +/- 0.96). A significant positive association was found with whole body BMD(A) z score and years elapsed since the beginning of maintenance (linear regression coefficient = +0.2 Deltaz score/year; 95% CI = 0.09 to 0.3) after adjustment was done for risk status/age category, history of cranial radiation, and total days hospitalized. No association was found with high risk/older age at diagnosis, nutrient intake, chemotherapy dosage, or weight-bearing activity.
Conclusion: Contrary to previous reports in which cranial radiation and longer hospitalizations were prominent components of therapy, our study suggests that more recently treated patients with chALL do not have persistent abnormalities of bone mineral density after completion of therapy.