From the Journals

How to recognize pediatric leukemia cutis



Researchers have characterized the clinical presentation, progression, and prognosis of leukemia cutis in a pediatric population, according to findings from a retrospective case series.

“To our knowledge, this is the largest reported case series of pediatric leukemia cutis,” wrote Elena Corina Andriescu of the University of Texas, Houston, and colleagues. The results were published in Pediatric Dermatology.

The study included 31 children with histologically confirmed leukemia cutis at one of two pediatric institutions. The researchers reviewed medical records to distinguish common features among patients.

Various clinical data, including disease subtype, related symptoms, management, and prognosis, were collected from January 1993 to March 2014. The children in the case series ranged in age up to 19 years with a median age at diagnosis of 26.8 months.

After analysis, the researchers reported that the magnitude and morphology of disease lesions differed among pediatric patients, with the most common sites being the lower extremities and head. The most common morphologies were nodules and papules. Additionally, the researchers found that lesions were often erythematous, violaceous, or both colors.

The majority of patients (65%) presented with concomitant systemic leukemia and leukemia cutis. The most common types of leukemia associated with the skin condition were acute myeloid leukemia (in 74% of cases) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (in 16% of cases). The researchers saw no significant differences in leukemia cutis morphology or distribution based on the leukemia diagnosis.

“Most cases of leukemia cutis arose during initial leukemia episodes, rather than with relapsed leukemia,” they added.

Because of an insufficiency of specific genetic data, investigators were unable to make prognostic inferences in the majority of participants.

Two key limitations of the study were the small sample size and retrospective design. As a result, the investigators were unable to prospectively classify skin findings in a systematic manner. Despite these limitations, the authors noted that these findings add to the present knowledge of leukemia cutis in pediatric patients.

“Importantly, the presence of [leukemia cutis] changed the management of systemic leukemia in one‐third of patients,” the researchers wrote. “The potential for major changes in treatment plans such as adding radiation therapy and deferring hematopoietic stem cell transplantation underscores the importance of diagnosing [leukemia cutis].”

No funding sources were reported. The authors did not report conflicts of interest.

SOURCE: Andriescu EC et al. Pediatr Dermatol. 2019 Jul 5. doi: 10.1111/pde.13864.

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