Background and aims Gait abnormalities are a frequent [I.A.1] complaint that gets children to the emergency department (4 per 1000[I.A.2] presentations in a single department). When thinking about etiologies, one can take into account a large number of causes: from developmental, trauma to infectious, inflammatory.
The aim of this paper is to present 3 cases with progressive chronic nonspecific gait abnormalities and highlight the clinical clues that help guide the investigations towards the correct aetiology, as well as the positive diagnosis.
Methods We searched the hospital records going back 5 years for patients seen in our paediatric neurology department, presenting with nonspecific walking disorders, for which the etiological diagnosis turned out to be of neoplastic[I.A.3] origin. We identified a total of three cases that we are going to present.
Results The three patients were two girls and a boy, ages ranging from 1 to 4 years 6 months old. For all of them the main reason for seeking a medical evaluation was the gait abnormalities, slowly progressive to the point of losing ambulation. Other complaints included pain to the lower limbs, weight loss or diminished appetite, irritability. Duration of the disease was between 1 to 8 months, two of the three patients had been previously examined in a paediatric setting.
Conclusions It is important to raise awareness on having an overview about the cases. One can have non-specific signs and symptoms, which can aid to formulating the investigation plan and therefore to an early correct diagnosis. A careful medical history, especially to the affliction at hand, can always reveal very useful information.
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