What are the possible complications of Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH)?

Updated: Jun 12, 2020
  • Author: Christopher R Shea, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Complications appear in 30-50% of patients with Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH). The most common complications are orthopedic disabilities, hearing impairment, diabetes insipidus, skin scarring, and neuropsychologic defects (eg, anxiety, depression, decreased intellect). [28, 47, 48]

Patients with multisystem disease, craniofacial involvement, long-standing disease, or reactivation may be at increased risk of developing diabetes insipidus. [49, 50] Regular neurological examinations and whole brain MRI are recommended to evaluate for CNS lesions of LCH and for evidence of neurodegeneration in patients with newly recognized diabetes insipidus. [51]

Less common sequelae include chronic pulmonary dysfunction, liver cirrhosis, secondary malignancies such as acute lymphoblastic leukemia or solid tumors, and growth retardation. [52]

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