Initial presentation of CNS-restricted acute lymphoblastic B cell leukaemia as peripheral polyneuropathy

Guilherme Piovezani Ramos, Jose C. Villasboas Bisneto, Dong Chen, Animesh Pardanani

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We report a case of a 58-year-old woman who presented with a 1-month course of progressive lower and upper extremity weakness in addition to binocular diplopia. Diagnostic lumbar puncture revealed atypical lymphoid cells with 28% blasts. Immunophenotype was consistent with B cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (B-ALL). Further work up showed no systemic involvement but extensive thoracolumbar-sacral leptomeningeal disease. The patient was treated with several courses of intrathecal and systemic chemotherapy followed by craniospinal irradiation for consolidation. There was initial steady improvement in neurological symptoms and leptomeningeal disease, the latter being ascertained through radiological studies and cerebrospinal fluid examination. After 10 months of response, the patient relapsed with central nervous system (CNS) and systemic disease. B-ALL is a rare precursor lymphoid neoplasm that generally presents with systemic disease. While CNS involvement is not uncommon, isolated involvement of this compartment without systemic disease is exceedingly rare.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number600
JournalBMJ case reports
StatePublished - Apr 19 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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