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. 2008 Jul;153(1):127-32.
doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2007.12.042. Epub 2008 Feb 11.

Pattern and Course of Neurodegeneration in Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis


Pattern and Course of Neurodegeneration in Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis

Martha Wnorowski et al. J Pediatr. .


Objective: To explore the frequency and course of neurodegenerative central nervous system (CNS) disease in Langerhans cell histiocytosis (ND-LCH).

Study design: We studied 83 patients with LCH in whom magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain was performed at least twice for various clinical indications. We defined radiologic ND-LCH as an MRI pattern comprising bilateral symmetric lesions in the dentate nucleus of the cerebellum or basal ganglia.

Results: Forty-seven of 83 patients (57%) had radiologic ND-LCH, at a median of 34 months (range 0-16 years) from the diagnosis of LCH. The MRI findings deteriorated in 31/47 (66%) patients over a median of 3 years (range 2 months to 12 years 6 months) and did not reverse in any patient. In 12 patients with radiologic ND-LCH (25%), clinical ND-LCH with overt symptoms were found 3 to 15 years (median 6 years) after initial LCH diagnosis. These symptoms included intention tremor, cerebellar ataxia, dysarthria, dysdiadochokinesis, concentration deficits, psychomotor retardation, severe headaches, and psychosis.

Conclusion: We conclude that radiologic ND-LCH is serious, not uncommon in patients studied by MRI, irreversible, and may be followed by severe clinical ND-LCH many years after the initial diagnosis of LCH.

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