Leukapheresis in Pediatric Acute Leukemia with Hyperleukocytosis: A Single-Center Experience

Children (Basel). 2022 Apr 2;9(4):503. doi: 10.3390/children9040503.


Hyperleukocytosis in pediatric acute leukemia is associated with increased morbidity and mortality and at present there is no consensus on the use of leukapheresis (LPH) for its management. Our aim was to review characteristics and outcomes of newly diagnosed leukemia patients with hyperleukocytosis (HL) comparing those who received LPH and those who did not. An IRB approved retrospective case control study reviewed data from a single institution over a 10 year period. At our institution, LPH was used in 8 of 62 (13%) patients with hyperleukocytosis with minimal complications. Mean leukocyte count in patients who received LPH versus those who did not was 498 k cells/mm3 and 237 k cells/mm3, respectively. Patients who had symptoms of neurologic (63 vs. 17%) or pulmonary leukostasis (75 vs. 17%) were more likely to have undergone leukapheresis. The time from presentation to the initiation of chemotherapy was not different between those who received LPH and those who did not (mean of 35 h vs. 34 h). There was one death in the LPH group, that was the result of neurologic sequelae of hyperleukocytosis and not LPH itself. The use of LPH in patients with hyperleukocytosis is safe, well tolerated and does not alter time to chemotherapy at our institution.

Keywords: acute leukemia; children; hyperleukocytosis; leukapheresis; leukostasis.