Treatment for hepatitis C virus–induced portal hypertension in leukemic children
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- El-Ashry, R., Malek, H.A., Ghayaty, E.A.D. et al. Med Oncol (2013) 30: 559. doi:10.1007/s12032-013-0559-y
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Children with acute leukemia are at high risk of hepatitis C infection, either by immunosuppression secondary to chemotherapy or by multiple transfusions of blood products during the course of the disease. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection constitutes a major problem during management of acute leukemia due to resultant portal hypertension or bleeding esophageal varices. Chronic HCV infection is a major cause of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma in leukemic survivors. The effect of amlodipine treatment on children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) having portal hypertension secondary to HCV infection during maintenance chemotherapy has been studied. Sixty male children (mean age 11.83 ± 1.1 years) with ALL in remission and have HCV infection were included. Diagnosis of HCV infection was confirmed by real-time PCR. Thirty patients received 5 mg amlodipine orally per day for 4 weeks and compared to another 30 patients received placebo therapy and 30 age- and sex-matched children as a control group. Amlodipine significantly reduced the elevated portal blood pressure to normal level in doses which did not interfere with mechanism of action of chemotherapy (p ≤ 0.001). Treatment with amlodipine can be used to control portal hypertension in leukemic children having HCV-induced portal hypertension. HCV in leukemics could be virtually eliminated by proper testing of the blood transfusion pool.