Typhlitis in acute childhood leukemia

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Altinel E., Yarali N., Isik P., Bay A., Kara A., Tunc B.

Medical Principles and Practice, vol.21, no.1, pp.36-39, 2011 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 21 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Doi Number: 10.1159/000331587
  • Journal Name: Medical Principles and Practice
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.36-39
  • Keywords: Children, Leukemia, Typhlitis


Objective: To review our experience with typhlitis among children treated for acute leukemia. Material and Methods: The medical records of children with acute leukemia and typhlitis between 2006 and 2009 were reviewed for demographics and symptoms, and for microbiological and imaging findings. Results: In the 75 children with acute leukemia - 54 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and 21 with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) - there were 10 episodes of typhlitis (4.5%) that developed during 221 periods of severe neutropenia. The cumulative risk of typhlitis was 7.4% in patients with ALL and 28.5% in patients with AML. Frequent symptoms were: abdominal pain and tenderness (100% each); fever and nausea (90% each); emesis (80%); diarrhea (50%), and hypotension, peritonitis and abdominal distension (10% each). The median duration of symptoms was 6 days (range: 2-11 days), and that of neutropenia 14 days (range: 3-25 days). All patients were treated medically and none surgically. Two patients died because of typhlitis and sepsis. Conclusions: In our study, the rate of typhlitis among leukemic children was 4.5%; however, the mortality rate was 20%. Thus, rapid identification and timely, aggressive medical intervention are necessary to reduce the morbidity and mortality from typhlitis. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.