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SHORT COMMUNICATIONUse of the Polymerase Chain Reaction as a Complementary Method for the Detection of Central Nervous System Involvement in Children and Adolescents with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia by Camila S. P. Cancela, Juliana G. Assumpcao, Francisco D. F. Paula, Mitiko Murao, Marcos B. Viana, Benigna M. Oliveira

Background: Cytological analysis of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) remains the most widely used method for diagnosing central nervous system (CNS) involvement in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). This study aimed at evaluating the use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR), in comparison to other methods, for the assessment of the presence of blast cells in the CSF at the time of diagnosis of ALL.
Methods: This was a prospective, single-centre, study enrolling all patients up to the age of 18 years who were admitted to a university hospital between November 2011 and November 2014 with a diagnosis of ALL and from whom it was possible to draw a sufficient amount of CSF for analysis by conventional cytology (CT), immunophenotyping (IMP), and PCR.
Results: A total of 46 CSF samples from 44 ALL pediatric patients were included. CT was performed in all samples, IMP in 44, and PCR in 34. Thirteen (28.2%) samples showed positive results: two by CT, four by IMP, four by PCR, and three by both IMP and PCR.
Conclusions: The results of this study showed that PCR should be considered a complementary method for the evaluation of the CSF in ALL patients at diagnosis.

DOI: 10.7754/Clin.Lab.2017.170622