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Eur J Pediatr. 1998 Jun;157(6):464-7.

Physical performance in long-term survivors of acute leukaemia in childhood.

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Department of Paediatrics, University Hospital, Mainz, Germany.


The aim of this study was to assess the physical performance in long-term survivors of acute leukaemia in childhood and to evaluate the effects of anthracycline therapy. Electrocardiography, echocardiography and spiroergometry were carried out on 56 patients aged 9-28 years, of whom 44 patients had been treated with 15-483 mg/m2 doxorubicin (or equivalent). Acute leukaemia had been diagnosed 1.5-16 years earlier. Of the patients 75% reached normal maximal oxygen uptake, 69% normal oxygen uptake at the anaerobic threshold and 95% normal maximal work rate. Of the patients 75% achieved adequate values for maximal heart rate and 78% normal blood lactate concentration. No difference was seen between patients treated with and without anthracyclines.


The results of this study provide little evidence for cardiopulmonary impairment in long-term survivors of ALL. Both the cardiac function, as evaluated by ECG and echocardiography, and the physical performance in spiroergometry are normal in a large number of these patients. Anthracycline treatment does not appear to have a negative effect on these parameters.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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