Pictorial essay: Acute neurological complications in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Authors: Seema A Kembhavi, Snehal Somvanshi, Shripad Banavali, Purna Kurkure, Brijesh Arora

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the commonest childhood malignancy with high cure rates due to recent advances in central nervous system (CNS) prophylaxis. The disease per se, as well as the prophylactic therapy, predisposes the child to complications such as cerebrovascular events, infections, drug toxicities, etc. The purpose of this study is to highlight the pathophysiology and the imaging features (with appropriate examples) of these complications and to propose a diagnostic algorithm based on MRI. Interpreting these scans in the light of clinical inputs very often helps the radiologist reach an appropriate diagnosis and help treatment and management.