Dendritic cell histiocytoma of the spine in a pediatric patient: case report

Vittorio M. Morreale MD, Adonis N. Lorenzana MD, Hadi Sawaf MD, Martha J. Higgins MD, Herbert David RN, Paul Chuba MD

St. John Hospital and Medical Center, Detroit, Michigan United States

AIM This is a case of intraspinal, extradural dendritic cell histiocytoma presenting as spinal cord compression in a thirteen year-old female patient. A careful review of the literature shows that this is the first such case to be reported in the literature. There have been reports of occurrence in the brain. This paper describes the clinical presentation, diagnosis, and treatment of this rare and benign tumor in our patient. METHODS Hospital and physician medical records were reviewed. There was also a review of the literature. RESULTS The patient underwent gross total resection of the lesion. Within one month of the initial resection, the tumor recurred. A second gross total resection was performed followed by radiation therapy to the surgical site. This resulted in clinical cure of the tumor. The patient was followed by serial spinal MRI scans. There has been no evidence for recurrence at 28 months postoperatively. CONCLUSIONS Dendritic cell histiocytoma is a rare and benign tumor. It has the capacity to recur. Growth can be rapid but the tumor is biologically benign. Radiation therapy after gross total resection can prevent recurrence. Based on our experience with this single case, we recommend surgical excision followed by postoperative radiation. Because this is such a rare lesion, tumor surveillance is necessary.

KEY WORDS: Dendritic cell histiocytoma, spine, tumor, benign, spinal cord compression.

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Paper presented at the International Symposium on Predictive Oncology and Intervention Strategies; Paris, France; February 9 - 12, 2002; in the section on Molecular Pathology.