Cerebral Rosai-Dorfman disease

Childs Nerv Syst. 2015 Apr;31(4):529-32. doi: 10.1007/s00381-015-2629-2. Epub 2015 Feb 17.


Background: Sinus histiocytosis (Rosai-Dorfman disease) with massive lymphadenopathy is a rare nonneoplastic and nonlangerhans cell proliferation disorder of the histiocytes. Extranodal location with or without lymphadenopathy occurs in about 40 % of the cases. Intracranial location is rare in children often mimicking meningiomas. The parasphenoidal region is more frequently involved though intraxial or intraventricular locations were described as well. Rarely, the surgical treatment allows the complete excision of the lesion; however, in symptomatic cases, partial resections of the tumor allow to counteract its mass effect. Long survivals are possible, even without radiotherapy or chemotherapy, due to the frequent spontaneous benign evolution of the lesions.

Case report: A 2-year-10-month-old girl presented with high fever and vomiting. One year ago, she had a period of muscular weakness in both legs that recovered completely. MRI of the brain revealed an axial enhancing lesion with ventricular spreading mainly to the left occipital horn and bilateral frontal periventricular infiltration. After steroid therapy, all the symptoms recovered. Partial removal of the occipital intraventricular lesion was performed and the diagnosis of Rosai-Dorfman disease was established and confirmed by the reference center. At the latest follow-up (16 months), the girl is without any neurological symptoms and without any treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Ventricles / pathology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dexamethasone / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / pathology
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Histiocytosis, Sinus / complications*
  • Histiocytosis, Sinus / diagnosis
  • Histiocytosis, Sinus / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Diseases / complications*
  • Lymphatic Diseases / diagnosis
  • Lymphatic Diseases / drug therapy
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Dexamethasone