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Ankle movement alterations during gait in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia with suspected peripheral mononeuropathy. A cross-sectional study.

BACKGROUND: Peripheral neuropathy due to chemotherapeutic drugs causes alterations in ankle movement during gait. This study aimed to describe the spatiotemporal parameters and ankle kinematics during gait in schoolchildren with acute lymphoblastic leukemia with clinically suspected peripheral neuropathy.

METHODS: In children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in the maintenance phase, we calculated spatiotemporal and kinematic parameters of the ankle during gait using Kinovea® software. Furthermore, we identified alterations in the parameters obtained considering the values of the normality data from a stereophotogrammetry system as the reference values. Finally, we represented the kinematic parameters of the ankles calculated with Kinovea® compared to the normality values of the stereophotogrammetry.

FINDINGS: We evaluated 25 schoolchildren; 13 were male (52.0%) with a median age of 88.0months and a median of 60.0 weeks in the maintenance phase, and 54.8% were classified as standard risk. Spatiotemporal parameters: cadence (steps/min), bilateral step length (m), and average gait speed (m/s) in ALL children were significantly lower than reference values (p < 0.001). Except for right mid-stance and bilateral foot strike, initial swing showed that both ankles maintained plantar flexion values during gait, significantly lower in ALL patients (p < 0.05).

INTERPRETATION: We identified spatiotemporal and kinematics alterations in schoolchildren with acute lymphoblastic leukemia during all phases of the gait suggestive of alteration in ankle muscles during movement, probably due to peripheral neuropathy; nevertheless, our results should be taken with caution until the accuracy and reliability of Kinovea® software as a diagnostic test compared to the stereophotogrammetric system in children with ALL and healthy peers is proven.

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