Initial emergencies in children and adolescents with malignant hematologic–oncological diseases



During the last few decades cure rates in children and adolescents with malignant diseases have approached 75–80 %. While this has been mainly achieved by a reduction of relapses, nowadays, prevention of disease- and therapy-related deaths has come more and more into focus. Initial emergencies in pediatric hematology and oncology represent rare but life-threatening situations which can be recognized by the combination of a patient’s medical history, age, clinical symptoms, laboratory parameters, and imaging studies. In the present review, both disease- and therapy-related oncological emergencies will be described including tracheal collapse and superior vena cava syndrome in case of mediastinal tumors, intussusception and inferior vena cava syndrome in case of abdominal tumors, intracranial hypertension in brain tumors, spinal cord compression in case of dumbbell tumors as well as tumor lysis syndrome and coagulation disorders. Possible differential diagnoses of malignant diseases and type and risk of the diagnostic procedures will be described in detail, emphasizing that all diagnostic procedures should be done appropriately and rapidly at experienced and specialized pediatric hematologic–oncological institutions in order to prevent fatality or irreversible damage.


Emergencies Mediastinum Abdomen Spinal cord Intracranial hypertension 


Compliance with ethical guidelines

Conflict of interest

A. Attarbaschi and G. Mann state that there are no conflicts of interest.

Ethical standards

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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© Springer-Verlag Wien 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, St. Anna Children’s Hospital, Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent MedicineMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria

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