Acute leukemia in children is a malignant disease. It is based on a systemic increase in hematopoietic tissue. It is accompanied by bone marrow rejuvenation.
At the same time, foci of unusual, extramedullary hematopoiesis appear in the body, the so-called. metaplasia.
Acute leukemia in children: causes
Definitively the nature of this disease has not been elucidated to date. Supporters of the point of view that it has a tumor origin, consider it a form of the blastomatous process. Defenders of the second theory claim that leukemia is caused by a virus. Until a favorable moment, he remains in a latent state. According to the clonal theory, a single cell mutates. Reproducing, it creates similar leukemic. There is also a theory that calls for taking into account the genetic predisposition.
Acute leukemia in children: signs
The disease develops in several stages. It begins, as a rule, gradually.
And only the most acute form immediately manifests violently. The dominant symptoms during this period are:enlarged lymph nodes, pain in bones and joints, their swelling, frequent nosebleeds, periodic fever, tonsillitis, abdominal pain, pallor, general weakness, dyspepsia, weight loss, loss of appetite. This is how small children with leukemia feel at first. In older people, absent-mindedness, insomnia, and sometimes coughing are added to these symptoms. The initial period can last weeks or months. At the stage of the full development of the disease, hemorrhagic syndrome, enlargement of the spleen and liver are added to the previous symptoms. The condition of children in general is deteriorating. They eat almost nothing, do not get up, are not interested in anything. There is frequent vomiting, fever. Lymph nodes can increase in separate groups. Acute leukemia in children is rarely accompanied by Mikulich's symptom complex, when both salivary and lacrimal glands symmetrically swell. Internal organs increase, heart tones become muffled. X-ray examination often reveals osteoporosis. Deep, irreversible changes occur in vital organs during remission.
The patients are drowsy, adynamic. Sometimes there are delusions and hallucinations, then patients behave excitedly. Appetite decreases up to anorexia, blood appears in the vomit. The boundaries of the heart expand, the tones are muffled, shortness of breath, a galloping rhythm, tachycardia, and a weak pulse are observed. The lower limbs and face may swell. On the part of the blood, thrombocytopenia and an extreme degree of anemia are noted. The number of leukocytes rises sharply. Bone marrowalmost entirely composed of reticular cells and other immature elements.
Acute leukemia in children: prognosis
Advances in modern medicine make it possible to achieve complete remission in 95% of cases. If within 5 years the disease does not manifest itself, the children are considered he althy. This happens in 70-80% of cases. It is also possible to successfully achieve complete remission a second time. Only these patients can no longer do without bone marrow transplantation, after which the probability that they will live for a long time is from 35% to 65%.