Central nervous system is a sanctuary site for chronic myelogenous leukaemia treated with imatinib mesylate

Intern Med J. 2009 Jun;39(6):408-11. doi: 10.1111/j.1445-5994.2009.01947.x.


Imatinib mesylate (IM) is currently used as the first therapeutic choice against chronic myelogenous leukaemia (CML). Because IM poorly penetrates the blood-brain barrier, IM-treated CML patients may have a potential risk of central nervous system (CNS) involvement. Here we report a case with lymphoid blast crisis isolated only in CNS after bacterial meningitis, although the patient achieved and maintained complete cytogenetic response by IM therapy. It is important to consider isolated CNS blast crisis as a possible event in IM-treated CML patients.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Benzamides
  • Central Nervous System / drug effects
  • Central Nervous System / metabolism*
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / chemically induced
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Imatinib Mesylate
  • Leukemia, Myelogenous, Chronic, BCR-ABL Positive / drug therapy*
  • Leukemia, Myelogenous, Chronic, BCR-ABL Positive / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Meningitis, Bacterial / chemically induced
  • Meningitis, Bacterial / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Piperazines / adverse effects
  • Piperazines / therapeutic use*
  • Pyrimidines / adverse effects
  • Pyrimidines / therapeutic use*


  • Benzamides
  • Piperazines
  • Pyrimidines
  • Imatinib Mesylate