Endocrine and metabolic assessment in adults with Langerhans cell histiocytosis

L Montefusco, S Harari, D Elia, A Rossi, C Specchia, O Torre, G Adda, M Arosio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


CONTEXT: Diabetes insipidus (DI) is one of most common complications of Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) but prevalence of anterior pituitary deficiencies and metabolic alterations have not been clearly defined yet.

OBJECTIVES: Evaluate prevalence of endocrine and metabolic manifestations in a cohort of patients affected by Pulmonary LCH.

METHODS: Observational cross-sectional study on 18 adults (7 M/11 F, 42±12years) studied for complete basal and dynamic endocrine lab tests and glucose metabolism.

RESULTS: Hypothalamic-pituitary endocrine alterations were found in 9 patients: 9 had DI, 5 Growth Hormone Deficiency (GHD), 5 central hypogonadism, 3 central hypothyroidism and 1 central hypoadrenalism. Hyperprolactinemia and hypothalamic syndrome were found in 2 patients each. All these central endocrine alterations were always associated to DI. Five of the 10 MRI performed showed abnormalities. Prevalence of obesity and glucose alterations (either DM or IFG/IGT) were respectively 39% and 33%, higher than expected basing on epidemiological data on general Italian population. Multi-system-LCH without risk-organ involvement (LCH MS-RO-) seems to have slightly higher prevalence of insulin resistance, glucose alterations and metabolic syndrome than LCH with isolated lung involvement (LCH SS lung+). A papillary BRAFV600E positive thyroid carcinoma was diagnosed in one patient.

CONCLUSIONS: The presence of anterior pituitary deficiencies should be systematically sought in all LCH patients with DI both at diagnosis and during the follow-up by basal and dynamic hormonal assessment. Patients with pulmonary LCH, particularly those with MS disease, have a worse metabolic profile than general population. Occurrence of papillary thyroid carcinoma has been reported.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Internal Medicine
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Nov 29 2017


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