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Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2013 Nov;60(11):1759-65. doi: 10.1002/pbc.24603. Epub 2013 Jun 29.

Thymus and mediastinal node involvement in childhood Langerhans cell histiocytosis: long-term follow-up from the French national cohort.

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  • 1Service D'hémato Oncologie Pédiatrique, CHU de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France; Service D'hémato Oncologie Pédiatrique, CHU de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France.



Mediastinal involvement (MI) in Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) has been rarely reported. Here, we describe the clinical, radiological, and biological presentation, and the outcome of childhood LCH with MI.


From the French LCH register, which includes 1,423 patients aged less than 18 years, we retrieved the medical charts of patients with mediastinal enlargement detected on chest X-rays.


Thirty-seven patients were retrieved, including 18 males; median age of diagnosis was 0.7 years, and median follow-up time was 6.2 years. The prevalence of MI varied with the age at diagnosis, ranging from 7% below 1 year old to less than 1% at >5 years. Thirteen cases (35%) were diagnosed because of MI-related symptoms, including respiratory distress (N = 4), superior venous cava syndrome (N = 2), and/or cough and polypnea (N = 10). CT scans performed in 32 cases at diagnosis showed tracheal compression (N = 5), cava thrombosis (N = 2), and/or calcification (N = 16). All patients presented multi-system disease at LCH diagnosis, and 35/37 were initially treated with vinblastine and corticosteroids. Death occurred in five cases, due to MI (N = 1) or hematological refractory involvement (N = 4). The overall 5-year survival was 87.1%, and immunodeficiency was not detected as a sequel.


MI in LCH mainly occurs in young children, and diagnosis was based on CT showing thymus enlargement and calcifications.

© 2013 The Authors. Pediatric Blood & Cancer Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Langerhans cell histiocytosis; mediastinal nodes; survey; thymus

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