Which physical findings are characteristic of Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH)?

Updated: Jun 12, 2020
  • Author: Christopher R Shea, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Signs of Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) depend on the localization and the extent of the disease. The clinical spectrum is broad, and an individual case may differ markedly from the prototypes described.

Solitary cutaneous disease presents with noduloulcerative lesions in the oral, perineal, perivulvar, or retroauricular regions. [39] Rarely, solitary cerebral lesions may occur. In adults with LCH, the pulmonary system is the most frequently involved organ system, and solitary pulmonary lesions may be the only manifestation. Chronic cough, dyspnea, chest pain, and recurrent pneumothoraces are typical signs and symptoms of pulmonary disease. [40]

Because of its protean nature, LCH must be considered in more unusual presentations, including protein-losing enteropathy in infants and combined pulmonary-thyroid involvement in adults. [41, 42]

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