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Skin - Nonmelanocytic tumors

Other tumors of skin

Langerhans cell histiocytosis

Reviewer: Christopher Hale, M.D. (see Reviewers page)
Revised: 14 September 2012, last major update September 2012
Copyright: (c) 2001-2012, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.


● Solitary or multiple lesions (papules, nodules, plaques) containining Langerhans cells
● Also called Histiocytosis X
● Langerhans cells are derived from bone marrow, circulate freely from skin to regional lymph nodes
● In infants, clinically resembles seborrheic keratosis
● Interleukin-17 (IL17) from lesional dendritic cells may drive Langerhans cell proliferation (Nat Med 2008;14:81) but data not conclusive (Mol Ther 2011;19:1433)

Case reports

● 24 year old woman with waxing and waning bone and lung disease (J Med Case Reports 2011;5:302)
● 50 year old man with lichenoid patches on foot (Ann Dermatol 2009;21:277)

Clinical images

Brown lichenoid patches

Micro description

● (1) Diffuse dermal infiltrate of Langerhans cells (large, ovoid, pale pink cytoplasm, indented bland nuclei) or
● (2) Clusters of Langerhans cells which resemble granulomas or
● (3) Dermal infiltrate of cells with more foamy cytoplasm

Micro images


Various images

Positive stains

● S100, CD1a, langerin / CD207 (Acta Derm Venereol 2006;86:39)

Electron microscopy description

● Birbeck granules (resemble lollipops) next to nuclear membrane

End of Skin - Nonmelanocytic tumors > Other tumors of skin > Langerhans cell histiocytosis

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