Skin nonmelanocytic tumor
Lymphoma and related disorders (see also Lymphoma chapter)
Langerhans cell histiocytosis

Topic Completed: 1 September 2012

Minor changes: 4 March 2021

Copyright: 2003-2021,, Inc.

PubMed search: langerhans cell histiocytosis [title] cutaneous skin

Christopher S. Hale, M.D.
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Cite this page: Hale CS. Langerhans cell histiocytosis. website. Accessed March 6th, 2021.
Definition / general
  • Solitary or multiple lesions (papules, nodules, plaques) containing 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
Clinical images

Images hosted on other servers:

Brown lichenoid patches

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Diffuse dermal infiltrate of Langerhans cells (large, ovoid, pale pink cytoplasm, indented bland nuclei) or
  • Clusters of Langerhans cells which resemble granulomas or
  • Dermal infiltrate of cells with more foamy cytoplasm
Microscopic (histologic) images

Contributed by Mark R. Wick, M.D.




Contributed by Asmaa Gaber Abdou, M.D.

Various images

Images hosted on other servers:

CD1a, S100

Electron microscopy description
  • Birbeck granules (resemble lollipops) next to nuclear membrane
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