Objective: To determine the extent of growth impairment resulting from imatinib treatment in children with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Study design: Clinical records of 48 chronic-phase CML children administered imatinib as the first-line therapy between 2001 and 2006 were analyzed retrospectively. Cumulative change in height was assessed using the height height-SDS and converted height data from age- and sex-adjusted Japanese norms. Results: A decrease in height-SDS was observed in 72.9% of children, with a median maximum reduction in height-SDS of 0.61 during imatinib treatment. Median follow-up time was 34 months (range, 10-88 months). Growth impairment was seen predominantly in children who started imatinib at a prepubertal age compared with those who started at pubertal age. Growth velocity tended to recuperate in prepubertal children with growth impairment, as they reached pubertal age, suggesting that imatinib had little impact on growth during puberty. Conclusions: Growth impairment was a major adverse effect of long-term imatinib treatment in children with CML. We report the distinct inhibitory effect of imatinib on growth in prepubertal and pubertal children with CML. We should be aware of growth deceleration in children, especially in young children given imatinib before puberty and subjected to prolonged exposure.
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