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Differentiating Skin-Limited and Multisystem Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis

The Journal of Pediatrics
DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2014.07.063
  • Design
  • Medicine


Objective To identify features associated with multisystem involvement and therapeutic failure in patients with skin Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH). Study design We reviewed medical records of 71 consecutive patients with LCH with skin involvement evaluated at Texas Children's Hospital and analyzed clinical features, laboratory results, and the presence of circulating cells with the BRAF-V600E mutation with respect to initial staging and clinical outcomes. Results Skin disease in patients older than 18 months at diagnosis was associated with the presence of multisystem disease (OR, 9.65; 95% CI, 1.17-79.4). Forty percent of patients referred for presumed skin-limited LCH had underlying multisystem involvement, one-half of these with risk-organ involvement. Patients with skin-limited LCH had a 3-year progression-free survival of 89% after initial therapy, and none developed multisystem disease. Patients with skin/multisystem involvement had a 3-year progression-free survival of 44% with vinblastine/prednisone therapy, and risk-organ involvement did not correlate with failure to achieve nonactive disease. Circulating cells with BRAF-V600E were detected at higher frequency in patients with multisystem involvement (8 of 11 skin/multisystem vs 1 of 13 skin-limited; P = .002). Conclusion Skin-limited LCH necessitates infrequent therapeutic intervention and has a lower risk of progression relative to skin plus multisystem LCH. The less-aggressive clinical course and lack of circulating cells with the BRAF-V600E mutation in skin-limited LCH suggest a different mechanism of disease origin compared with multisystem or risk-organ disease.

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