Castleman disease in pediatrics: Insights on presentation, treatment, and outcomes from a two-site retrospective cohort study

Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2019 May;66(5):e27613. doi: 10.1002/pbc.27613. Epub 2019 Jan 24.


Background: Castleman disease (CD) is an uncommon lymphoproliferative disorder that is rare in pediatric populations; the literature describing this population is sparse. We sought to describe pediatric CD, including unicentric CD (UCD) and human herpes virus-8 (HHV8)-negative multicentric CD (MCD), in a multi-institutional cohort.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 24 patients, aged 0 to 26 years at diagnosis, who were diagnosed with CD between January 1, 2005, and May 16, 2017, at two tertiary children's hospitals. Demographic and clinical data were collected.

Results: Most patients (75%, 18/24) presented with UCD. All patients with MCD were HHV8-negative. The most common histopathologic variant was hyaline vascular (75%, 18/24). Plasma cell variant occurred in 33% (2/6 [95% confidence intervals (CI), 4-78%]) of patients with HHV8-negative MCD and 17% (3/18 [95% CI, 4-41%]) of patients with UCD. Systemic symptoms were present in 4 of 6 of patients with HHV8-negative MCD and 8 of 18 of patients with UCD. Anemia and laboratory inflammation occurred in both UCD and MCD patients, with nonsignificantly higher rates of anemia and elevated C-reactive protein in MCD patients. All but two UCD patients underwent gross total resection as definitive therapy. Among HHV8-negative MCD patients, a combination of resection, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy was used. No UCD patients and three of six HHV8-negative MCD patients experienced disease progression/relapse prior to lasting remission. There were no deaths.

Conclusion: Pediatric patients with CD most commonly have unicentric, hyaline vascular variant disease. Pediatric patients with both UCD and MCD commonly have systemic inflammation and, despite risk of progression/relapse in MCD patients, ultimately have excellent survival.

Keywords: Castleman disease; lymphoproliferative disorder; pediatrics.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Castleman Disease / diagnosis
  • Castleman Disease / mortality*
  • Castleman Disease / therapy
  • Castleman Disease / virology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Herpesviridae Infections / complications*
  • Herpesviridae Infections / virology
  • Herpesvirus 8, Human / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Inflammation / complications
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Young Adult

Supplementary concepts

  • Multi-centric Castleman's Disease