Cytokine release syndrome (CRS) is one of the major acute complications caused by massive cytokine release after chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy. Patients with tumor masses were considered at high risk of local CRS induced by the expansion of CAR T cells in the tumor masses. However, even patients without any tumor burden around the neck are at risk of developing cervical edema as local CRS, which can lead to life-threatening airway obstruction. Here, we present the case of a 15-year-old boy who developed cervical edema as a local CRS after CAR T-cell therapy for refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Despite administration of tocilizumab and methylprednisolone for persistent fever as a symptom of systemic CRS after CAR T-cell therapy, cervical edema occurred and extended to the larynx, resulting in dysphagia and hoarseness. Dexamethasone was remarkably effective, and the laryngeal symptoms resolved within a few hours. Local cytokine syndrome showed exacerbation with tocilizumab but exhibited considerable improvement with dexamethasone administration.
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