LEUKEMIA in the newborn is unusual. It may be readily confused with leukemoid reactions complicating mongolism, congenital syphilis, viremia, septicemia, toxoplasmosis, hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenic purpura, erythroblastosis fetalis, and cytomegalic inclusion diseast.1-3 The leukocytosis, the presence of blast-like cells, and the predominance of myelocytes and promyelocytes which may be seen in the forementioned diseases present a problem in the differential diagnosis of leukemia in this age group.
Granulocytic leukemia is reported to be seven or eight times as frequent as the lymphatic type in the neonate2 and this is at variance with the generally accepted predominance of the lymphoblastic type in childhood. Further confusion arises in the alleged association of granulocytic leukemia with mongolism in which the hematologic changes may undergo spontaneous remission or resolution. In fact, some investigators4 designate the hematologic component in the mongoloid as labile granulopoiesis rather than leukemia.
Recently an infant presented with leukemia
Carper JM, O'Donnell WM, Monroe JH. Neonatal Leukemia: Detection of Herpes Virus in the Mother and Child. Am J Dis Child. 1968;115(1):61–65. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1968.02100010063012
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