Suspected infections in children treated for ALL

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The aim of our study was to get epidemiological information on bacterial infections in children treated for ALL and to analyse which patients have an enhanced infection risk. Episodes of suspected or confirmed infections were evaluated during the first 12 months of treatment for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). The number of patients was 73 (43 boys). The median age was 4.6 years. A total of 179 episodes occurred, varying from none in six patients to eight in one. Bacteria were cultured in 57 episodes (31.8%), the most common being coagulase-negative staphylococci. The number of episodes fell significantly with increasing age for suspected and confirmed infections (p < 0.001 and p = 0.03). The proportion of confirmed infections was significantly higher (p < 0.001) in the first episodes. The average number of suspected infections was higher in girls than in boys (p = 0.03), but confirmed infections were not. Most of the serious infections occur early in the treatment and the number of suspected and confirmed infections falls with age. Suspicion of infection is more likely in girls, but the number of confirmed infections is equal in both sexes. Coagulase-negative staphylococcus was most commonly isolated, highlighting the importance of careful handling of central venous devices.


  • Solveig Hafsteinsdottir
  • Kristjan Jonasson
  • Guomundur K. Jonmundsson
  • Jon R. Kristinsson
  • Olafur Gisli Jonsson
  • Inga Huld Alfreosdottir
  • Corrado Cilio
  • Thomas Wiebe
  • Asgeir Haraldsson
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Pediatrics


  • Treatment, Leukaemia, ALL, Infection
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1149-1155
JournalActa Pædiatrica
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Publication categoryResearch