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Concomitant sinus histiocytosis with massive lymphadenopathy (Rosai-Dorfman Disease) and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: a case report

James C Moore, Xiaohui Zhao, Edward L Nelson
Journal of Medical Case Reports 2008, 2: 70

INTRODUCTION: Sinus histiocytosis with massive lymphadenopathy, also known as Rosai-Dorfman Disease, is a rare and benign source of lymphadenopathy first described in 1969, which mimics neoplastic processes. This disease commonly presents in children and young adults with supra-diaphragmatic lymphadenopathy or extranodal lesions consisting of tissue infiltrates composed of a polyclonal population of histiocytes. Since its description greater than 400 cases have been described, sometimes in patients with a variety of treated and untreated neoplastic diseases. However, the literature contains reports of only 19 cases of Rosai-Dorfman Disease in association with lymphomas, Hodgkin's or non-Hodgkin's. The majority of these cases have the two diagnoses, malignant lymphoma and Rosai-Dorfman Disease, separated in time. Interestingly, infradiaphragmatic lymphadenopathy was a feature in the majority of previously reported cases of Rosai-Dorfman Disease and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

CASE PRESENTATION: This report provides details of a case with co-existing sinus histiocytosis with massive lymphadenopathy and diffuse large B cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. This case is the fifth described case of simultaneous Rosai-Dorfman Disease and concurrent non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Unfortunately, the diagnosis of a clinically aggressive diffuse large B cell lymphoma was made at autopsy. The aggressive biological behavior of the diffuse large B cell lymphoma in this patient may have been related to the underlying immune dysregulation believed to be part of the pathophysiology of Rosai-Dorfman Disease.

CONCLUSION: Taken together this report and the preceding reports of Rosai-Dorfman Disease and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma suggests that in cases with a diagnosis of Rosai-Dorfman Disease in the setting of prominent infradiaphragmatic lymphadenopathy, clinicians should maintain a high index of suspicion for the presence of occult non-Hodgkin's lymphoma especially if the clinical course is atypical for classic Rosai-Dorfman Disease.


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