Hyperleukocytosis-induced stroke and tonsillar herniation: Case report.

and Importance: Acute ischemic stroke is a rare event in children with leukemia, yet with long-term morbidity, substantial health, and economic cost. Central nervous system (CNS) leukemic involvement and chemotherapy-related stroke are the most common causes. Hyperleukocytosis induced stroke is very rarely reported. A 2-year-old male child presented with hyperleukocytosis (leukocyte count was 320x10/L). Bone marrow evaluation revealed T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. He was treated with dexamethasone, vincristine and daunorubicin, and on day 4 of chemotherapy, he developed abnormal movements, altered mental status, limb weakness and mutism. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain showed multifocal infarctions involving left pons and both cerebellar hemispheres causing tonsillar herniation with restricted diffusion and mild hydrocephalus but no leptomeningeal enhancement or leukemic infiltrates. Magnetic resonance angiography did not show any arterial stenosis. He was intubated, sedated and managed conservatively with dexamethasone. Cytologic analysis of cerebrospinal fluid showed no blasts. Thrombophilia work up was negative. Five weeks later, the patient had significant improvement in overall neurologic status. He is free of leukemia. MRI showed interval resolution of previous infarcts. Hyperviscosity secondary to hyperleukocytosis was considered to be the most likely explanation for this patient stroke after excluding thrombophilia and leukemic infiltration. Prompt management with hydration and careful chemotherapy resulted in good outcome in our patient. This case demonstrate the value of early recognition and prompt management of posterior circulation ischemic stroke in children with leukemia and hyperleukocytosis at presentation.
as reported in: Hashem H, Muhsen BA. Ann Med Surg (Lond). 2021 Oct:70:102776. doi: 10.1016/j.amsu.2021.102776.