Bone Mineral Density in Survivors of Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Pediatric Growth and Development Research Center, Institute of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Iran University of Medical Science, Tehran ,Iran

2 Department of Pediatrics, Ali-Asghar Children’s Hospital, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 Pediatric and Growth Development Research Center, Ali-Asghar Children’s Hospital, Department of Pediatrics, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

4 General Physician, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Background: The objective of this study was to evaluate bone mineral density (BMD) after completion of treatment for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 103 survivors of ALL aged 13.5 ± 0.45 who completed their treatment at least one year earlier were enrolled. Among these, 49.5% and 51.5% received chemotherapy alone and chemotherapy plus cranial radiotherapy, respectively. Bone mineral content, BMD, and bone mineral apparent density in the lumbar spine (LS), femoral neck (FN) and forearm were assessed using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). BMD Z-scores were classified according to International Society for Clinical Densitometry (ISCD) criteria. Results: The mean BMD Z-scores ± SD forLS, FN and forearm were -1.60 ± 0.12, -1.21 ± 0.9 and -2.43 ± 0.14 respectively with significant differences (P<0.001). Considering the lowest BMD Z-score in LS and FN areas (at any site) and according to the ISCD classification, 62.1%, 33% and 4.9% of the patients had normal BMD, low BMD and osteoporosis, respectively. Also, 8.7% of patients had developed fractures after completion of the treatment period, 4.9% having BMD Z-Scores Conclusions: ALL patients are at risk for low BMD and fracture. Therefore, applying DEXA scanning is recommended after completion of therapy for prevention of BMD reduction and osteoporosis.


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