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Hemiparesis in an Adolescent With Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: Everything Is Not Always What it Seems

Andina, David MD; Lassaletta, Alvaro MD; Sevilla, Julian PhD; Gutierrez, Silvia MD; Madero, Luis PhD

Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology: January 2016 - Volume 38 - Issue 1 - p 63–64
doi: 10.1097/MPH.0000000000000223
Clinical and Laboratory Observations

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is a common malignancy in childhood. Managing adverse events during treatment can result in very complex situations. A previously healthy adolescent diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia developed on day +55 of induction chemotherapy hemiparesis, dysesthesia, and facial palsy. Blood tests and brain imaging techniques were unremarkable. The patient was diagnosed with a conversion disorder, which completely resolved. Although rare in clinical practice, children and adolescents with cancer do not always have organic pathology explaining their symptoms. Psychiatric disorders such as those of the somatoform spectrum must be considered, particularly in patients with anxiety or depression.

Hospital Universitario Niño Jesús, Madrid, Spain

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Alvaro Lassaletta, MD, Pediatric Hematology-oncology Department, Hospital Universitario Niño Jesús, Avda. Menendez Pelayo 65, Madrid 28009, Spain (e-mail:

Received May 5, 2014

Accepted June 21, 2014

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