Fetal and neonatal histiocytoses

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The histiocytoses are a group of disorders of the monophagocytic system having a variety of clinical and pathological findings. They occur less often during the perinatal period than later in life. Their biologic behavior, response to therapy, and histologic types are not the same.


The study consisted of 221 fetuses and neonates collected from the literature and from personal files.


Langerhans' cell histiocytosis (LCH), the hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytoses (HLH), and juvenile xanthogranuloma (JXG), in order of rank, were the main histiocytoses occurring in the perinatal period. HLH accounted for the highest mortality (74%) followed by disseminated LCH (52%) and JXG (11%). All neonates with LCH and JXG limited to the skin and/or subcutaneous tissue survived with or without treatment.


This study suggests that there is an increased incidence of spontaneous regression of certain histiocytic lesions in neonates as compared to older individuals. Cutaneous forms JXG and LCH had the highest incidence of regression followed by infection associated HLH. Pediatr Blood Cancer. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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