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Persistent human parvovirus B19 infection in children under maintenance chemotherapy for acute lymphocytic leukemia.
Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
OBJECTIVE: To report on B19 infection management and chemotherapy schedule consequences in five children treated for acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). PATIENTS AND METHODS: Between May 2001 and February 2002, five patients between 4 and 12 years of age, receiving maintenance chemotherapy for ALL, presented with symptoms suggesting B19 infection (pallor, fatigue, petechiae and pancytopenia in four patients; generalized rash in two patients; acute hepatitis in one patient). Qualitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on peripheral blood was used for diagnosis and follow-up of infection; quantitative PCR was used for viral load measurement. Intravenous nonspecific high-dose immunoglobulin therapy was administered until PCR was negative. RESULTS: Qualitative B19 DNA was found in the peripheral blood of all patients, confirming the infection. Viral load at diagnosis ranged from 10 to 10 particles/mL blood. B19 DNA was detectable in four patients at 45, 21, 40, and 44 weeks, respectively. Chemotherapy was delayed in all patients. No clear benefit of intravenous immunoglobulin was noted. CONCLUSIONS: Infection with B19 is rarely reported in patients with ALL, but it should be suspected when unexplained pancytopenia occurs during chemotherapy. Persistent B19 infection remains a challenge in the management of patients receiving maintenance chemotherapy for ALL, as no specific therapy such as a specific immunoglobulin or vaccine exists. The role of viral load measurement needs to be established in terms of its use in follow-up and evaluation of the therapeutic response.
Antineoplastic Agents, Child, Child, Preschool, DNA, Viral, Erythema Infectiosum, Female, Humans, Immunocompromised Host, Immunoglobulins, Intravenous, Male, Parvovirus B19, Human, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma
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