Reduced Neutrophil Elastase Activity and Neutrophil Extracellular Traps in Pediatric Acute Myeloid Leukemia May Increase the Rate of Infections

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Data on the production of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) in leukemia patients are scant. Phagocytosis, hydrogen peroxide, neutrophil elastase and myeloperoxidase enzymatic activity as well as NETs formation were studied in 10 pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia and 7 pediatric acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients after induction chemotherapy. Median neutrophil elastase activity and NETs formation were lower in AML versus acute lymphoblastic leukemia (41% vs. 90%, P=0.005 and 51% vs. 94%, P=0.008, respectively). AML patients had more episodes of febrile neutropenia during the first 2 blocks of treatment (100% vs. 40%, P=0.011) and a trend for more invasive bacterial and fungal infections.

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