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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2003 Jul;127(7):e294-7.

Langerhans cell histiocytosis involving the thymus. A case report and review of the literature.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass 02115, USA.


Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) is a neoplastic proliferation of Langerhans cells that occurs in a range of nodal and extranodal sites. Scattered reports of LCH within the thymus exist, typically among children within the setting of multifocal, multisystem disease. Rare cases of isolated LCH involving the thymus have occurred in adult patients with myasthenia gravis. We report a case of unifocal LCH involving the thymus in a middle-aged woman with a history of a resected leiomyosarcoma but no evidence of myasthenia gravis. Computed tomographic scans revealed an anterior mediastinal mass, which was excised and measured 9.0 cm. Histologic and immunophenotypic findings (CD1a, S100, and Fascin positive and CD68 negative) were consistent with LCH. To our knowledge, this is the first example of LCH occurring in a patient with a history of soft tissue sarcoma and one of the rare reported examples of LCH presenting as a large isolated lesion in the thymus of a nonmyasthenic adult.

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