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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 27-29 Table of Contents     

Generalized eruptive histiocytoma

1 Department of Dermatology, Venereology & Leprology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Rohtak, India
2 Department of Dermatology, MM Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Mullana, Ambala, India
3 Department of Pathology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Rohtak, India
4 Department of Medicine, MM Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Mullana, Ambala, India

Date of Web Publication26-Nov-2010

Correspondence Address:
Sanjeev Gupta
H.No. B-2, Near Shiv Mandir, MM Medical College Residential Campus, Mullana, District Ambala, Haryana - 133 207
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2229-5178.73255

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We are reporting a 62 year old male, who over a period of 1 year, developed a symmetric eruption of hundreds of brownish papules, with spontaneous regression of some lesions. The clinical and histopathological findings were compatible with the diagnosis of generalized eruptive histiocytoma.

Keywords: Histiocytoma, histioctytosis, elderly male

How to cite this article:
Aggarwal K, Gupta S, Jain VK, Sen R, Gupta S. Generalized eruptive histiocytoma. Indian Dermatol Online J 2010;1:27-9

How to cite this URL:
Aggarwal K, Gupta S, Jain VK, Sen R, Gupta S. Generalized eruptive histiocytoma. Indian Dermatol Online J [serial online] 2010 [cited 2021 Jan 19];1:27-9. Available from: https://www.idoj.in/text.asp?2010/1/1/27/73255

   Introduction Top

Generalized eruptive histiocytoma (GEH) is an unusual, benign disorder belonging to the group of non-Langerhans'-cell ('non-x') histiocytoses. [1] It is a papular, non-lipidic, self-healing histiocytosis affecting mainly adults. [2] The first adult case was described by Winkelmann and Muller in 1963. [3] Herein, we report a case of this rare entity in old age for the first time from the Asian subcontinent.

   Case Report Top

A 62-year-old man was presented with a history of developing small number of papular lesions on his trunk 12 months previously. He then slowly but progressively developed hundreds of elevated, brownish papular lesions elsewhere on his body. These lesions were neither painful nor itchy. Although some papules resolved spontaneously, new lesions continued to develop. There were no precipitating factors and no other systemic problems.

He had no abnormalities on general medical examination. There was no lymphadenopathy or hepatosplenomegaly on palpation. Cutaneous examination showed a widespread papular eruption on the face, trunk and proximal parts of the arms and legs [Figure 1] and [Figure 2]. The scalp, palms and soles were spared. Mucous membranes were not involved. The individual lesions were non-confluent, hemispherical and skin colored to brown papules, ranging from 3 to 8 mm in size; some displayed central umblication, clinically simulating molluscum contagiosum. The patient mentioned spontaneous regression of some lesions and focal residual hyper pigmentation was present at the sites of resolution. The eruption was asymptomatic.
Figure 1 :Widespread papular eruption on the trunk composed of nonconfluent, hemispherical, skin colored to brown papules

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Figure 2 :Generalized distribution of discrete, brownish papules on the arm

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Investigations revealed routine hematology, biochemistry, immunoglobulin, autoantibodies and lipids to be normal. Histopathalogical study of a biopsy from representative lesion showed a normal epidermis along with dermal infiltration by histiocytic cells, having vacuolated cytoplasm at places, intermixed with inflammatory cells. Perivascular arrangement of histiocytic cells was also evident in some areas [Figure 3]. Histochemical and ultrastructural studies could not be performed because of non-availability. The clinical picture, in conjunction with the histopatholgoical findings, suggested the diagnosis of GEH. Patient was planned to put on photochemotherapy but he refused to take it because of spontaneous resolution of few of the lesions.
Figure 3 :Biopsy of a lesion showing an unremarkable epidermis and a perivascular arrangement of histiocytic cells, having vacuolated cytoplasm at places, in the dermis (H&E, ×100)

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Over a period of 4 years, our patient has continued to produce new lesions, a proportion of which have spontaneously regressed, but there has been no evidence of progression of disease beyond the skin till repeated follow-up of those 4 years.

   Discussion Top

GEH was first described by Winkelmann and Muller as a papular, non-xanthomatous, self-healing histiocytosis, predominantly affecting adults. [3],[4] It is an extremely rare disease. The disorder may start at any age from 3 months to 58 years. [2] Clinically, the skin lesions are asymptomatic, firm, erythematous or brownish papules measuring 3-10 mm in diameter. Clinical resemblance to molluscum contagiosum has been reported. [5] The lesions appear in successive crops and may be numerous without a tendency to grouping over the face, trunk and proximal parts of the limbs. Mucous membranes are rarely affected and visceral involvement has not been reported. Atypical GEH-type lesions have been reported in association with acute monocytic leukemia. [6] General health is always good and the disease has a limited course lasting a few years with eventual spontaneous regression of the lesions as happened in our case too. Histological examination shows a monomorphous histiocytic infiltrate in the upper and mid-dermis, devoid of foamy and giant cells. Histochemical and histoenzymatic studies show no intracellular accumulation of fat, mucopolysaccharides, glycogen or iron, but positivity for lysosomal enzymes. [1] Electron microscopic studies show that the histiocytic cells lack Birbeck granules but have cytoplasmic laminated bodies. At first presentation, the differential diagnosis may include angiomata, sarcoid, lymphoma, neurofibromatosis, urticaria pigmentosa and xanthomata. All of these would be differentiated and excluded by histology. Regarding treatment modalities for GEH, literature is silent but recent reports on use of photochemotherapy highlight complete resolution in one case [7] and relapse later on in another case. [8]

Our case demonstrates all the features of GEH and emphasizes the importance of clinical, histopatholgoical, immunohistochemical and ultrastructural examination in the investigation and diagnosis of histiocytic disorders.

The rarity of individual histiocytic disorders is such that only by pooling information will advances in classification, management and prognostic information be possible.

   References Top

1.Repiso T, Miralles MR, Kanitakis J, Rodellas AC. Generalised eruptive histiocytoma evolving into xanthoma disseminatum in a 4-year old boy. Br J Dermatol 1995;132:978-82.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Gupta R. Cutaneous Histiocytoses X, in Freedberg IM, Eisen AZ, Wolff K. Dermatology in General Medicine. New York: McGraw Hill; 1999. p. 1892-902.   Back to cited text no. 2
3.Winkelmann RK, Muller SA. Generalised eruptive histiocytoma: a benign papular histiocytic reticulosis, Arch Dermatol 1963;88:586-96.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Muller SA, Wolff K, Winkelmann RK. Generalized eruptive histiocytoma: enzyme biochemistry and electron microscopy. Arch Dermatol 1967;96:11-7.   Back to cited text no. 4
5.Ashworth J, Archard L, Woodrow D, Cream JJ. Multiple eruptive histiocytoma cutis in an atopic. Clin Exp Dermatol 1990;15:454-6.   Back to cited text no. 5
6.Klemke CD, Dippel E, Geilen CC, Koenigsmann MP, Thiel E, Orfanos CE, et al. Atypical generalized eruptive histiocytosis associated with acute monocytic leukaemia. J Am Acad Dermatol 2003;49:233-6.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Lan Ma H, Metze D, Luger TA, Stein Hoff M. Successful treatment of generalized eruptive histiocytoma with PUVA. J Dtsch Dermatol Ges 2007;5:131-4.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Vazquez Blanco M , Peteiro C, Toribio J. Generalized eruptive histiocytoma. Actas Dermosifiliogr 2006;97:35-8.  Back to cited text no. 8


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]


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