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Arch Hellen Med, 28(6), November-December 2011, 809-813


Pulmonary Langerhans' cell histiocytosis or miliary tuberculosis?
Case report and literature review

C. Dimitropoulos,1 I. Vamvakaris,2 D. Vassos,1 G. Hamalakis,3 C. Gkogkou,2 A. Kokkini,4 I. Ntanos1
19th Department of Respiratory Medicine,
2Department of Pathology,
3Department of 2nd Thoracic Surgery,
4Department of Cytology, "Sotiria" General Hospital of Chest Diseases, Athens, Greece

Early stage pulmonary Langerhans' cell histiocytosis (PLCH) can convincingly mimic miliary tuberculosis (TB), clinically, radiologically, functionally and on histopathological examination, and conversely miliary TB may be mistaken for PLCH. The relevant literature emphases mistaking PLCH for TB and vice versa, but does not highlight the possibility of their coexistence. As it is possible for these two entities to present as concomitant disorders in the same patient, a high index of suspicion for TB should be maintained, even when PLCH appears to be the clinically obvious diagnosis, especially when steroid treatment may be used.

Key words: Miliary tuberculosis, Pulmonary Langerhans' cell histiocytosis, Pulmonary tuberculosis.

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