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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 246-249

Neurological complications of chronic myeloid leukaemia : any cure?

Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
D E Joseph
Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Nigeria

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 19140362

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OBJECTIVE: To attempt to explain the non-reversal, contrary to the widely held view, of the neurological deficits complicating chronic myeloid leukaemia. METHOD: Using patients' case folders and haematological malignancy register all cases of chronic myeloid leukaemia seen in Jos University Teaching Hospital between July 1995 and June 2005 were retrospectively studied. All the available literature on the subject was also reviewed. RESULTS: Thirty-three cases of chronic myeloid leukaemia were seen within the study period. Five (15.15%) of them had one or more sensori-neural defects. Of the five, two (40%) patients presented with bilateral hearing impairment, each beginning with the left ear; one (20%) presented with left ear hearing loss; one (20%) came with severe left ear tinnitus; one (20%) presented with complete bilateral hearing and bilateral visual losses. Fundoscopy showed leukaemic deposits on the retina. Other causes of blindness and deafness, e.g. trauma and foreign body in the ear respectively, were excluded. CONCLUSION: While the complications due to hyperleucocytosis-induced stasis recover following the conventional treatment, those due to other pathogenetic mechanisms such as leukaemic deposits do not return to their pre-morbid states following disease control despite the use of the currently available treatment protocols. For future research, more still needs to be done to elicit other uncommon pathogenetic mechanisms underlying these complications with a view to finding specific treatment measures for worrisome chronic myeloid leukaemia-related sensori-neural deficits.

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