Objectives: To investigate whether children with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) who have development of hyperglycemia during induction may have worse relapse-free (RFS) and overall survival (OS) rates.
Study design: A review of 167 children diagnosed with ALL between 1999 to 2002 at Texas Children's Hospital was performed. Blood glucose concentrations during induction therapy were reviewed; patients were assigned to 3 groups: euglycemia (blood glucose < 140 mg/dL), mild hyperglycemia (blood glucose between 140-200 mg/dL), and overt hyperglycemia (blood glucose > 200 mg/dL). RFS and OS among groups were compared by use of Kaplan-Meier and Cox-proportional hazard analyses, adjusting for potential confounding variables.
Results: The median follow-up in survivors was 6 years; there were 18 deaths and 36 relapses. Overt hyperglycemia was seen in 56 (34%) patients. Patients with overt hyperglycemia had poorer RFS (68% +/- [SE] 6.7 vs 85% +/- 3.6, P = .025) and OS (74% +/- 6.1 vs 96% +/- 1.9, P < .0001) at 5 years than their counterparts. Patients with overt hyperglycemia had 6.2 times (95% CI 1.6-24.7, P = .01) greater risk for death, independent of risk group and type of steroid.
Conclusions: Overt hyperglycemia may be an independent predictor of survival in children with ALL.