Annals of Thoracic Medicine
: 2010  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 178--179

Concurrent sternal and pulmonary foci of Langerhans cell histiocytosis

Young Hwan Koh, Hyeon Jong Moon, Byung-Su Kim, Dae Hee Han 
 Department of Radiology, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, 505, Banpo-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul - 137 701, Korea

Correspondence Address:
Young Hwan Koh
Department of Radiology, Seoul St. Mary«SQ»s Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, 505, Banpo-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul - 137 701

How to cite this article:
Koh YH, Moon HJ, Kim BS, Han DH. Concurrent sternal and pulmonary foci of Langerhans cell histiocytosis.Ann Thorac Med 2010;5:178-179

How to cite this URL:
Koh YH, Moon HJ, Kim BS, Han DH. Concurrent sternal and pulmonary foci of Langerhans cell histiocytosis. Ann Thorac Med [serial online] 2010 [cited 2023 Mar 23 ];5:178-179
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Full Text


We recently came across a case of concurrent sternal and pulmonary langerhans cell histiocytosis (PLCH), who was successfully diagnosed by a careful review of high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) and using ultrasound (US) guidance for tissue diagnosis. PLCH is part of the spectrum of the disorder manifesting as an interstitial lung disease [1] with an uncommon (4-20%) association of bone lesions in adult patients. [2] The sternum is a rare site of LCH involvement [3] and there has been no report of simultaneous involvement of lung and sternum in LCH. The patient, a 32-year-old male, presented with a 40-day history of anterior chest pain and swelling. US showed a low-echoic mass [Figure 1]a in the sternum with soft-tissue extension and cortical disruption, prompting the possibility of tuberculosis and metastasis. We noticed bilateral interstitial infiltration [Figure 1]b on the radiograph and the patient underwent HRCT. HRCT revealed bilateral diffuse infiltrates sparing the costophrenic angle, composed of well-defined small nodules with occasional cavitation [Figure 1]c. Under the strong impression of PLCH with concomitant sternal involvement, US-guided biopsy of the sternal lesion was done with no associated complications. The histologic findings were consistent with LCH [Figure 1]d, with immnohistochemistry revealing the following results: focal positive for S100; focal positive for CD3 in T cells; focal positive for L26 in B cells; negative for CD30 and CD15. Treatment with vinblastine and prednisone with mercaptopurine, brought a rapid symptom relief.

Although sternal involvement of LCH is rare and manifests with nonspecific physical and radiologic signs, PLCH presents with specific HRCT signs. Therefore, chest radiograph of a patient with a painful sternal mass should be scrutinized for any interstitial infiltrates that may lead to a specific imaging diagnosis, which was PLCH in this case.

To date, sternal LCH has been diagnosed using various surgical techniques. However, tissue diagnosis can be done percutaneously using US guidance as in this case, reducing the morbidity and the length of hospital stay.


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