What is the role of chest radiography in the workup 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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Answer

Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) can present as a micronodular and interstitial infiltrate in the mid zone and base of the lungs, with sparing of the costophrenic angles. Older lesions show a honeycomb appearance.

High-resolution CT scanning may be required if lung involvement is suspected based on radiography findings of pulmonary infiltrates or a cystic appearance. [28]

Patients with radiographically demonstrated pulmonary involvement, in whom chemotherapy is being considered, require a biopsy of the lung preceded by bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) to exclude opportunistic infections. If the BAL findings are diagnostic, the biopsy of the lung can be obviated.


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