Neuroblastoma presenting as acute lymphoblastic leukemia but correctly diagnosed after orbital fine-needle aspiration biopsy

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A 3 1/2-year-old girl with a diagnosis of common acute lymphoblastic leukemia antigen (CALLA)-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia was noted to be hypertensive and developed a tonic-clonic seizure. Computed tomography scan of the head revealed a right orbital mass. Orbital fine needle aspiration biopsy demonstrated rosette-like arrangements of cells with fibrillar cytoplasmic processes suggesting neuroblastoma. The tumor cells were antineuron-specific enolase positive. The cytologic findings suggested neuroblastoma, a diagnosis confirmed on subsequent work-up. The difficulty in distinguishing neuroblastoma from acute lymphoblastic leukemia in the pediatric patient is discussed in terms of clinical and cytologic features.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-161
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuro-Ophthalmology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1991



  • Acute lymphocytic leukemia
  • Fine-needle aspiration biopsy
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Orbit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Clinical Neurology

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