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Cutaneous Rosai-Dorfman disease: comprehensive review of cases reported in the medical literature since 1990 and presentation of an illustrative case

John L Frater, Jessica S Maddox, Joseph M Obadiah, M Yadira Hurley
Journal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery 2006, 10 (6): 281-90

BACKGROUND: The latest comprehensive review of primary cutaneous Rosai-Dorfman disease was published as part of an exhaustive survey of sinus histiocytosis with massive lymphadenopathy in 1990. Since then, much progress has been made in the understanding of malignant lymphoma and benign disorders of lymphoid and histiocytic origin.

OBJECTIVE: We reviewed cases of primary cutaneous Rosai-Dorfman disease published since 1990 and discuss their clinical and pathologic features, comparing them with cases of systemic Rosai-Dorfman disease.

METHODS: We conducted a search of the National Library of Medicine PubMed database for cases of cutaneous Rosai-Dorfman disease reported in the English-language medical literature since February 1990.

RESULTS: We identified 72 patients with cutaneous Rosai-Dorfman (female to male ratio 1:0.5). The gross appearance and number or distribution of lesions were highly variable. Abnormal laboratory data included peripheral blood cytopenias (10 patients) and increased gammaglobulin fraction (10 patients). The response to treatment was variable.

CONCLUSION: Purely cutaneous disease without the characteristic lymphadenopathy is rare but has been increasingly reported in the literature. Compared with patients with systemic Rosai-Dorfman disease, patients with primary cutaneous Rosai-Dorfman disease are older, women are more commonly affected, and whites are more likely than blacks to be afflicted.


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