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Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Presentation of LCH in Children

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Thyroid

Thyroid involvement has been reported in LCH. Symptoms include massive thyroid enlargement, hypothyroidism, and respiratory symptoms.[11]

Multisystem Disease Presentation

In multisystem LCH, the disease presents in multiple organs or body systems including bone, abdominal/gastrointestinal system (liver and spleen), lung, bone marrow, endocrine system, eye, CNS, skin, and lymph nodes.

Bone and other organ systems

LCH patients may present with multiple bone lesions as a single site (single-system multifocal bone) or bone lesions with other organ systems involved (multisystem including bone). A review of single-system multifocal bone and multisystem including bone patients treated on the Japanese LCH study (JLSG-02) found patients in the multisystem including bone group were more likely to have lesions in the temporal bone, mastoid/petrous bone, orbit, and zygomatic bone (CNS-risk).[12] Patients with multisystem including bone had a higher incidence of diabetes insipidus, correlating with the higher frequency of lesions in the noted facial bones. There was no difference in the outcome to treatment, which is more intense in the JLSG-02 study compared with the LCH-II study.

Abdominal/gastrointestinal system

In LCH, the liver and spleen are considered high-risk organs, and involvement of these organs affects prognosis. Involvement in this context means the liver and spleen are enlarged from direct infiltration of LCH cells or as a secondary phenomenon of excess cytokines, which cause macrophage activation or infiltration of lymphocytes around bile ducts. LCH has a portal (bile duct) trophism that leads to biliary damage and ductal sclerosis. A percutaneous (peripheral) liver biopsy may not be diagnostic of the infiltrate that tends to be more central in the liver, but will show the upstream obstructive effects of distal biliary occlusion. Hepatic enlargement can be accompanied by dysfunction, leading to hypoalbuminemia with ascites, hyperbilirubinemia, and clotting factor deficiencies. Sonography, computed tomography (CT), or MRI of the liver will show hypoechoic or low-signal intensity along the portal veins or biliary tracts when the liver is involved with LCH.[13]

Liver (sclerosing cholangitis)

One of the most serious complications of hepatic LCH is cholestasis and sclerosing cholangitis.[14] This usually occurs months after initial presentation, but on occasion may be present at diagnosis. The median age of children with this form of hepatic LCH is 23 months.

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