Context Rosai-Dorfman disease is an uncommon histiocytic disorder most frequently presenting as bilateral cervical lymphadenopathy in children and young adults. Extranodal disease occurs in a significant proportion of patients. It has been recently classified as part of the ‘R group’ of histiocytoses by the Histiocyte Society in 2016. Cutaneous Rosai-Dorfman disease is regarded as a separate disease entity that falls into the ‘C group’ of histiocytoses according to this classification system. The pathogenesis was previously poorly understood; however, recent evidence demonstrating clonality in a subset of cases raises the possibility of a neoplastic process. A possible association with IgG4-related disease remains controversial.
Objectives To provide a comprehensive review of Rosai-Dorfman disease, including nodal, extranodal and cutaneous forms, with a particular emphasis on new insights into the possible clonal nature of the disease; to discuss the recently revised classification of the histiocytoses by the Histiocyte Society; and to summarise the findings from the literature regarding the controversial association with IgG4-related disease.
Data sources This review is based on published peer-reviewed English literature.
Conclusions Classic Rosai-Dorfman disease, which may be sporadic or familial, is considered a separate entity from cutaneous disease, which is reflected in the revised classification of histiocytoses. An increase in IgG4-positive plasma cells may be seen in Rosai-Dorfman disease. This finding in isolation is of limited significance and should be interpreted with caution. Studies investigating the molecular profile of the disease show that in at least a subset of cases the disease is a clonal process. The classification of Rosai-Dorfman disease is therefore likely to change as our understanding of the aetiopathogenesis evolves.
- haematological disease
- pathology, surgical
- lymph nodes
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Handling editor Runjan Chetty.
Contributors All authors have contributed to the production of this manuscript.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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