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Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2013 Dec;38(12):3145-9. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2013.07.013. Epub 2013 Aug 5.

Adequate endocrine and cardiovascular response to social stress in survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

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Department of Pediatrics, Division Oncology/Hematology, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Department of Pediatrics, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address:


Survivors of childhood ALL have been demonstrated to have increased morning cortisol levels compared to healthy controls. Information regarding the response of the HPA axis and the sympathetic nervous system to stress in childhood ALL survivors is not available. The present study aimed at assessing the endocrine and cardiovascular stress response in childhood ALL survivors and healthy controls by evaluating perceived stress on visual analog scales, by determining saliva cortisol, blood pressure and heart rate in response to the Trier Social Stress Test for Children (TSST-C). Fifty survivors who had completed their treatment for childhood ALL 57 (IQR 47.0-72.3) months before and 50 healthy age and sex matched controls were included. Exposure to the TSST-C induced a significant response of perceived stress, saliva cortisol and cardiovascular outcome variables in the total study group. These responses did not significantly differ between survivors of childhood ALL and healthy controls. We conclude that the endocrine and cardiovascular response to social stress are intact in survivors of childhood ALL.


Acute lymphoblastic leukemia; Cardiovascular stress response; Child; HPA axis; Trier Social Stress Test

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