Previous studies have failed to establish a direct relationship between behavioral disorders and organic pathology in long-term survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. We evaluated 23 long-term survivors who received central nervous system preventive therapy with cranial irradiation and intrathecal chemotherapy, using neuropsychologic tests and computed tomographic brain scans. The patients were in continuous first remission for 7 to 11 years, and none were receiving chemotherapy. On the basis of their CT scan findings, they were divided into three groups: 10 with normal CT findings, five with intracerebral calcifications, and eight with cortical atrophy. Neuropsychologic test results allowed prediction of CT scan findings with an 87% accuracy (P less than 0.001), indicating a strong correlation between the presence and type of CT scan abnormality and neuropsychologic functioning. Tests that measured verbal memory, attention, and functions correlated with frontal lobe integrity were most powerful in discriminating between groups.
- computed-tomography brain scan
- long-term follow-up