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Isolated adult Langerhans' cell histiocytosis in cervical lymph nodes: should it be treated?

  • W-C Lo (a1), C-C Chen (a2), C-C Tsai (a3) and P-W Cheng (a2) (a4)



We report an extremely rare case of Langerhans' cell histiocytosis involving isolated cervical lymph nodes, and we discuss the diagnosis and treatment of this infrequent disease.


We present a case report and literature review concerning this disease entity.


A 54-year-old man presented with persistent, multiple, left neck masses. Histopathological study of lymph node specimens showed proliferation of Langerhans' cells coupled with eosinophilic and neutrophilic microabscesses. Positive immunohistochemical staining for Cluster of Differentiation 1a (CD1a) in Langerhans' cells confirmed the diagnosis. No other abnormalities were noted on a series of image studies. The patient was managed with ‘watchful waiting’ without subsequent therapy. The neck lesions regressed gradually over time, and the patient did well over a two-year follow-up period.


The clinical presentation of Langerhans' cell histiocytosis is highly variable, and the choice of treatment depends on the involved organs. Definitive diagnosis depends on identification of characteristic immunohistochemical or ultrastructural features of the biopsy specimen. Watchful waiting may be an effective management strategy in cases of adult isolated lymph node Langerhans' cell histiocytosis, due to its possible spontaneous regression.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Dr Po-Wen Cheng, Department of Otolaryngology, Far Eastern Memorial Hospital, 21, Section 2, Nan-Ya South Road, Pan Chiao, Taipei, Taiwan 220. Fax: +886 2 89665567 E-mail:


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The Journal of Laryngology & Otology
  • ISSN: 0022-2151
  • EISSN: 1748-5460
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-laryngology-and-otology
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