Article

Hearing Loss due to Infiltration of the Tympanic Membrane by Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Division of Hematology, The Arthur G. James Comprehensive Cancer Center and The Ohio State University, 320 W 10th Avenue, B354 Starling Loving Hall, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.
Case reports in hematology 11/2012; 2012:589718. DOI: 10.1155/2012/589718
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Central nervous system (CNS) involvement by chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) can present with dramatic neurologic findings or can be quite subtle, discovered only at the time of autopsy. We describe a case of CLL in a patient who presented initially with hearing loss and was ultimately found to have involvement of the tympanic membrane. She noted improvement of her hearing after induction therapy but was not aware at the time of the involvement of her CNS with CLL. Upon worsening of hearing at the time of relapse, she was evaluated by imaging and CSF analysis as well as biopsy of the tympanic membrane, and involvement of the CNS was confirmed. She has received CNS-directed therapy with intrathecal liposomal cytarabine and intravenous CNS-directed therapy and has noted improved hearing and resolution of her imaging and CSF findings. This is the first reported case of tympanic membrane involvement with CLL and describes potentially effective methods for managing this challenging complication.

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    ABSTRACT: Background Central nervous system involvement is considered a rare complication of chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and so there is the risk of being overlooked. Case presentation We report a case of central nervous system involvement in a 75-year-old mulatto woman with chronic lymphocytic leukemia after 5 years of follow-up and a literature review on the subject. The clinical course, treatment and outcome are described. A systematic, meticulous and comprehensive analysis of existing publications regarding chronic lymphocytic leukemia with central nervous system involvement was performed. Conclusion We concluded that central nervous system involvement of chronic lymphocytic leukemia is probably not associated with any evident risk factors. Diagnostic approach differs by institutions but often includes imaging, morphology and flow cytometry. Resolution of central nervous system symptoms can usually be accomplished with intrathecal chemotherapy or irradiation followed by systemic treatment. The recognition of this entity by clinicians could lead to early detection and treatment, resulting in better outcomes in this rare complication.
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