Childhood acute leukemia in West Bengal, India with an emphasis on uncommon clinical features

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2009;10(5):903-6.


Leukemias are the commonest childhood malignancy in West Bengal. This study was undertaken on 75 children at NRS Medical College, West Bengal to determine the distribution of signs and symptoms of leukemia and to identify unusual clinical features. After obtaining clinical history, physical examination, hematological and radiological investigations were performed. Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL, 72%) was the commonest followed by acute myeloid leukaemia (AML, 18.7%). Common symptoms and signs were fever (85.3%), pallor (64%), hepatomegaly (72%), splenomegaly (60%) and lymphadenopathy (50.7%). The uncommon signs and symptoms were abdominal pain (9.3%), joint pain (9.3%), hematemesis and malena (8%), diarrhea (5.3%), proptosis (2 cases), dysphagia, mediastinal mass and parotid swelling (1 case each). Uncommon clinical presentations lead to delay in diagnosis in some cases. Awareness of uncommon signs and symptoms of childhood leukemia together with laboratory tests may help in earlier diagnosis and proper management of the patients.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / etiology
  • Adolescent
  • Arthralgia / etiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Fever / etiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • India / epidemiology
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / complications
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / epidemiology*
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / pathology*
  • Male
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / complications
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / epidemiology*
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / pathology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Rate