Nigerian Journal of Paediatrics

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Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia presenting as Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis in a Nigerian boy

UC Onubogu, G Eke, EA Joboy-Okei


Background: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in children commonly presents with osteo articular manifestations that may mimic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. This may create considerable diagnostic difficulty and
lead to delay in commencing appropriate treatment.
Case: An eight year old boy who presented with multiple joint pains and swellings of two months duration, had an elevated Rheumatoid factor and X-ray findings suggestive of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. A blood film and bone marrow aspirate however, confirmed the diagnosis of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia for which he was managed.
Conclusion: This report emphasizes the need for a high index of suspicion in children presenting with osteo articular manifestations of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in order to make a prompt diagnosis and institute treatment.

Key words: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis.
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