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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 41  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 77-80

Neuron-specific enolase in cerebrospinal fluid as a neurochemical marker for brain damage in acute lymphoblastic leukemia

1 Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig, Egypt
2 Department of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Hossam E Salah
Department of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig, 44519
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1110-1067.186410

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Background Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common form of childhood cancer with a cure rate approaching 80%. Neuron-specific enolase (NSE) is known to be a cell-specific isoenzyme of the glycolytic enzyme enolase. The expression of NSE is a late event in neural differentiation, thus making it a useful index of neural maturation. It is a highly specific marker for neurons and peripheral neuroendocrine cells. NSE in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a reliable marker of neuronal damage. It is believed to signal for brain damage after hypoxic-ischemic and traumatic injury. Objective and methods This study aimed to measure CSF levels of NSE as a neurochemical marker for brain damage in response to chemotherapy at diagnosis and during induction using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method. Thirty newly diagnosed ALL patients were enrolled in this study, comprising 19 male and 11 female patients. Results NSE level in the CSF samples increased from 9.3 ± 2.1 μg/l on day 0 (before the start of treatment) to 14.9 ± 1.85 μg/l on day 7 and then gradually decreased to 11.4 ± 1.46 μg/l on day 28. The increase in NSE levels in CSF on days 7 and 28 was considered highly significant when compared with those measured on day 0 (before induction therapy). Conclusion We concluded that the increase in NSE in CSF during induction therapy in children with ALL can be interpreted as an early sign of brain damage.

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