Viruses and Langerhans cell histiocytosis: is there a link?

Br J Cancer Suppl. 1994 Sep;23:S34-6.


As a rare, sporadic disease Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) presents a difficult problem in defining a likely etiology. Epidemiological data would not a priori lead one to choose a viral etiology. However, there are rare tumours which occur as sequelae of common infections from Epstein-Barr virus or human papilloma viruses. Likewise some viruses can cause cells to elaborate cytokines which could ultimately stimulate Langerhans cell growth. There is only a small amount of experimental data testing the hypothesis that viruses might be associated with LCH. The theoretical constructs surrounding this question and new data refuting the association are summarised.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / isolation & purification
  • Cytomegalovirus / isolation & purification
  • DNA, Viral / isolation & purification*
  • Deltaretrovirus / isolation & purification
  • HIV / isolation & purification
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / isolation & purification
  • Histiocytosis, Langerhans-Cell / metabolism
  • Histiocytosis, Langerhans-Cell / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Parvovirus / isolation & purification
  • Simplexvirus / isolation & purification


  • DNA, Viral