BackgroundLung involvement in childhood Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) is infrequent and rarely life threatening, but occasionally, severe presentations are observed.MethodsAmong 1482 children (< 15 years) registered in the French LCH registry (1994–2018), 111 (7.4%) had lung involvement. This retrospective study included data for 17 (1.1%) patients that required one or more intensive care unit (ICU) admissions for respiratory failure.ResultsThe median age was 1.3 years at the first ICU hospitalization. Of the 17 patients, 14 presented with lung involvement at the LCH diagnosis, and 7 patients (41%) had concomitant involvement of risk-organ (hematologic, spleen, or liver). Thirty-five ICU hospitalizations were analysed. Among these, 22 (63%) were secondary to a pneumothorax, 5 (14%) were associated with important cystic lesions without pneumothorax, and 8 (23%) included a diffuse micronodular lung infiltration in the context of multisystem disease.First-line vinblastine–corticosteroid combination therapy was administered to 16 patients; 12 patients required a second-line therapy (cladribine: n = 7; etoposide-aracytine: n = 3; targeted therapy n = 2). A total of 6 children (35%) died (repeated pneumothorax: n = 3; diffuse micronodular lung infiltration in the context of multisystem disease: n = 2; following lung transplantation: n = 1). For survivors, the median follow-up after ICU was 11.2 years. Among these, 9 patients remain asymptomatic despite abnormal chest imaging.ConclusionsSevere lung involvement is unusual in childhood LCH, but it is associated with high mortality. Treatment guidelines should be improved for this group of patients: viral infection prophylaxis and early administration of a new LCH therapy, such as targeted therapy.