What Is Sinus Histiocytosis?

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  • Written By: Meg Higa
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 18 January 2019
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Sinus histiocytosis, not to be confused with "sinus histiocytosis with massive lymphadenopathy", is a medical term describing an increase in benign histiocytes in the peripheral and medullary sinuses of the lymph nodes. Sinus histiocytosis is a common finding in the lymph nodes.It is a benign symptom that is often associated with infections.

"Histiocytosis" refers to a class of conditions characterized by the excess production and accumulation of histiocytes, which are a beneficial autoimmune macrophage released by the littoral cells that line the inner endothelial wall of lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are small, ball-shaped hollow organs that are distributed throughout the human body’s reticulated immune system. Within the lymph sinuses, immune cells such as histiocytes function as a filter or trap for foreign particles and pathogens. Inflammation of a lymph node is quite common, particularly when fighting an infection.

As mentioned, sinus histiocytosis is a symptom and treatment will depend on the underlying cause, in most cases, an infection. If it is caused by infection, doctors will recommend the best treatment based on the pathogen, such as antibiotics.


Due to the similarity in name, sinus histiocytosis is sometimes confused with sinus histiocytosis with massive lymphadenopathy (SHML). Also called the Rosai-Dorfman disease, this is a rare human disorder of unknown cause. It is usually indicated by the swelling of lymph glands either subcutaneous or in deep tissue. It predominantly affects the young, particularly during the first two decades of life. It is often benign though sometimes chronic, and in rarer cases, it can metastasize to other parts of the body via the vessels of the lymphatic system. Since first identified in 1969, an effective cure has been elusive, and most physicians recommend close clinical observation without any treatment for the possibility of a spontaneous self-cure.


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Post 2

We are getting an influx of people thinking they have this extremely rare Rosai-Dorfman disease, when they actually just have sinus histiocytosis.

Post 1

this is a very good piece of knowledge but i think treatment options should be given so people can get benefit from that.

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