Langerhans' Cell Histiocytosis with Thyroid Involvement Masquerading as Thyroid Carcinoma

Wei Shu Wang, Jin Hwang Liu, Tzeon Jye Chiou, Ruey Kuen Hsieh, Chueh Chuan Yen, Po Min Chen

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16 Citations (Scopus)


A 28- year-old woman was admitted to our Hospital with a chief complaint of progressive gingival swelling and loosening of teeth over about a year. According to past history, she had received total thyroidectomy 2 years previously due to thyromegaly. The thyroidectomy specimen was at first interpreted as 'poorly differentiated carcinoma of the thyroid'. One year ago, she began to be aware of gingival swelling and loosening of teeth. A gum biopsy was taken and the pathologic features were similar to her 'thyroid carcinoma'. Subsequent investigations, including immunohistochemical stain, showed the gum was heavily infiltrated with histiocyte-like Langerhans' cells which were positive for S-100 protein. Ultrastructural examination of the cells under electron microscope revealed many typical intra-cytoplasmic Birbeck granules. Langerhans' cell histiocytosis was diagnosed. Langerhans' cell histiocytosis with thyroid involvement is extremely rare and may run a relatively indolent course. Even on a retrospective examination, it may easily be confused with poorly differentiated carcinoma of the thyroid. We suspect that this error may have been made on other occasions and that the occurrence of this condition may be underreported.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-184
Number of pages5
JournalJapanese Journal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Birbeck granule
  • Langerhans' cell histiocytosis thyroid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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