Cancer control : journal of the Moffitt Cancer Center

Rosai-Dorfman disease: tumor biology, clinical features, pathology, and treatment.

PMID 25310213


Rosai-Dorfman disease (RDD) is a rare, nonmalignant clinical entity characterized by a group of clinical symptoms and characteristic pathological features. Articles that reviewed tumor biology, clinical features, pathology, and treatment for RDD were identified in a search of the literature for the years 1990 to 2014. The results from this body of literature were reviewed and summarized. Patients with RDD generally present with massive, painless cervical lymphadenopathy, fevers, and elevated inflammatory markers. Extranodal disease is typical, with the most common sites being the skin and the central nervous system. Rarely, the gastrointestinal tract is involved. Immunohistochemistry remains the mainstay of diagnosis with S100 and CD68 positive cells while CD1a will be negative of involved histiocytes. Histologically, the disease shows the classical characteristic finding of emperipolesis. Many patients do not require treatment; however, surgical resection remains the mainstay of treatment for symptomatic disease. The role of steroids, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy continue to be based on small case series and case reports. RDD has a variable clinical presentation; therefore, a high degree of suspicion and a thorough pathological review are necessary to diagnose this rare clinical entity. Although some patients will experience spontaneous resolution, others may require surgical resection or steroid therapy and radiation or chemotherapy. Given the rarity of the disease and the lack of a clear therapeutic pathway, referring patients to a tertiary center is recommended for confirming the diagnosis and treatment considerations.

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