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March 1960

The Central Nervous System in Acute Leukemia: A Postmortem Study of 117 Consecutive Cases, with Particular Reference to Hemorrhages, Leukemic Infiltrations, and the Syndrome of Meningeal Leukemia

Author Affiliations

Bethesda, Md.

From the General Medicine Branch, National Cancer Institute, and the Department of Pathologic Anatomy, Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1960;105(3):451-468. doi:10.1001/archinte.1960.00270150105011

There are many reported cases of leukemia with involvement of the central nervous system.1-5 In the majority of these, however, there has been insufficient clinical or pathological material for detailed analysis. Reported series of cases have usually included both acute and chronic forms of the leukemias, and have given only a rough approximation of the frequency of leukemic involvement of the central nervous system.

As a pathological study of the central nervous system in 117 consecutive cases of acute leukemia, the present paper will deal with three broad aspects of neurological involvement; (1) hemorrhages, (2) leukemic infiltrations, and (3) infections. No reference will be made to cranial or peripheral nerve infiltrations, to nerve root or ganglionic infiltrations, or to degenerations.

The association of "blastic crisis" in patients with acute leukemia with the presence of intracerebral leukostasis, leukemic nodules, and fatal intracerebral hemorrhage has been previously reported.6 In another

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