Electrophysiological Studies to Detect Peripheral Neuropathy in Children Treated With Vincristine

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Patients treated with vincristine predictably develop peripheral neuropathy. The aim of our study was to investigate the pattern of vincristine-induced neuropathy in children by nerve conduction studies and somatosensory-evoked potentials (SSEPs). We included data from 39 children who received vincristine for various pediatric malignancies, and we performed initial and follow-up (after a minimum of 4 doses of vincristine 1.5 mg/m2) conduction studies in 27 patients and SSEPs studies in 34 patients. On follow-up the most prevalent symptoms were paresthesias (44%) and constipation (22%), and the most common neurological sign was impaired myotatic reflexes (89%). Performing nerve conduction studies we found that significant reductions were measured for distal amplitudes, distal latencies were prolonged, and conduction velocities were relatively preserved. The most pronounced differences in amplitudes and distal latencies were measured in the peroneal nerves. Changes of SSEPs studies were subtle. Vincristine-induced neuropathy presents with primary axonal involvement and is more pronounced on motor neurons. We found a trend between higher age and higher dose and the degree of neuropathy in our group of patients.

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