Methotrexate is a chemotherapy drug used in high doses to treat malignancies that can lead to serious liver damage, especially cirrhosis in a dose-dependent manner. We aimed to evaluate the hepatic complications, 10 years after treating children with hematologic malignancies by high-dose Methotrexate regimen.
Materials and Methods: In a descriptive-analytical study, all children with hematologic malignancies who received high-dose methotrexate for treating cancer and who were hospitalized in Tabriz Children’s Hospital, Tabriz, Iran, from 2008 to 2009 were included. Demographic data were extracted from medical records. Liver enzyme tests, ultrasonography, as well as a Doppler ultrasound of the portal vein were performed for all participants in the Tabriz Children’s Hospital. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The Chi-Square test was used to examine the relationship between variables using SPSS software version 22.0.
Results: Out of 30 patients, 18 cases (60%) were boys and 23 (76.67%) of patients had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. ALT, Total BILL, and Direct BILL levels were increased by 13.33%, 13.33%, and 10% of cases, respectively. AST, PT, and PTT levels were normal in all patients. The liver and spleen spans were larger than normal in 26.67% and 40% of cases, respectively and 5 patients (16.67%) had grade 1 fatty liver. Port vein diameter was normal in all patients.
Based on the results of the study, it is possible to consider the long-term safety of high dose Methotrexate in terms of the development of severe liver disease following treating malignancies in children. However, patient follow-up is recommended to identify complications for years after discontinuing treatment.