Liang Jiang, Xiao Guang Liu, Wo Quan Zhong, Qing Jun Ma, Feng Wei, Hui Shu Yuan, Geng Ting Dang, Zhong Jun Liu

October 2011, Volume 20, Issue 11, pp 1961 - 1969 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-010-1390-1

First Online: 22 May 2010

To stress the clinical and radiologic presentation and treatment outcome of Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) with multiple spinal involvements. A total of 42 cases with spinal LCH were reviewed in our hospital and 5 had multifocal spinal lesions. Multiple spinal LCH has been reported in 50 cases in the literature. All cases including ours were analyzed concerning age, sex, clinical and radiologic presentation, therapy and outcome. Of our five cases, three had neurological symptom, four soft tissue involvement and three had posterior arch extension. Compiling data from the eight largest case series of the spinal LCH reveals that 27.2% multiple vertebrae lesions. In these 55 cases, there were 26 female and 29 male with the mean age of 7.4 years (range 0.2–37). A total of 182 vertebrae were involved including 28.0% in the cervical spine, 47.8% in thoracic and 24.2% in the lumbar spine. Extraspinal LCH lesion was documented in 54.2% cases, visceral involvement in 31.1% and vertebra plana in 50% cases. Paravertebral and epidural extension were not documented in most cases. Pathological diagnosis was achieved in 47 cases including 8 open spine biopsy. The treatment strategy varied depending on different hospitals. One patient died, two had recurrence and the others had no evidence of the disease with an average of 7.2 years (range 1–21) of follow-up. Asymptomatic spinal lesions could be simply observed with or without bracing and chemotherapy is justified for multiple lesions. Surgical decompression should be reserved for the uncommon cases in which neurologic compromise does not respond to radiotherapy or progresses too rapidly for radiotherapy.

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