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Our Dermatol Online.  2013; 4(3): 383-384
DOI:.  10.7241/ourd.20133.96
Date of submission:  25.03.2013 / acceptance: 13.05.2013
Conflicts of interest: None


Khalid Al Aboud1, Ahmad Al Aboud2

1Department of Public Health, King Faisal Hospital, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
2Dermatology Department, King Abdullah Medical City, Makkah, Saudi Arabia

Corresponding author:  Dr. Khalid Al Aboud    e-mail: amoa65@hotmail.com


A histiocyte is a type of cells and it is a part of the mononuclear phagocyte system.It is derived from bone marrow and develops into macrophage (CD68), or dendritic, Langerhans cell (CD1a). Histiocytes have common histological and immunophenotypical characteristics. Their cytoplasm is eosinophilic and contains variable amounts of lysosomes. They bear membrane receptors for opsonins, such as IgG and the fragment C3b of complement. They express CD45, CD14, CD33 and CD4 . There are many histiocytic disorders, and our aim is to highlight on selected eponyms linked to them, which we listed in Table I [1-7]. Last but not least we want to stress on one thing, that, It is important to remember, not only the names of the scientists behind the eponyms but also to realize the great contributions made by those scientists. Hand, Christian, Schüller, Letterer, and Siwe represent far more than names to attach to eponyms [1].
Eponyms in the dermatology
literature linked to the histiocytic
Erdheim–Chester disease [2-4]
Erdheim-Chester disease (ECD) is a rare, systemic, non-familial histiocytic disorder, named for, Jakob Erdheim (1874-1937), an Austrian pathologist, and William Chester, an American pathologist. The first case of ECD was reported by William Chester in 1930. Most patients have multiple sites of involvement at presentation. The most common site of involvement is the long bones of the axial skeleton. Cutaneous involvement is rarely a presenting symptom of ECD, with handful reported cases in the English literature.
Eponyms of Histiocytosis X [1]
There are few eponyms for Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH), from a time where LCH was thought to be several different diseases. These are, Letterer-Siwe disease, Hand-Schuller- Christian disease, Eosinophilic granuloma and Hashimoto-Pritzker disease. Later they were all put together under the name Histiocytosis X.
Letterer-Siwe disease stands for Erich Letterer and Sture Siwe.
Hand-Schuller-Christian disease is named for Alfred Hand, Artur Schüller, and Henry Asbury Christian.
Langerhans cells [5]
Langerhans cells are dendritic cells (antigen-presenting immune cells) of the skin and mucosa, and contain large granules called, Birbeck granules. It is named for Paul Langerhans (1847-1888), (Fig. 1), who was a German pathologist, physiologist and biologist. Birbeck granules were discovered by Michael Stanley Clive Birbeck (1925–2005), a British scientist and electron microscopist.
Figure 1. Paul Langerhans(1847-1888)
Rosai–Dorfman disease [6,7]
Rosai–Dorfman disease, also known as sinus histiocytosis with massive lymphadenopathy, is a rare disorder of unknown etiology that is characterized by abundant histiocytes in the lymph nodes throughout the body. Cutaneous involvement may occur. This condition has been named afterJuan Rosai and Ronald F. Dorfman.
Juan Rosai, (Fig. 2), is an Italian-born American physician who has contributed to clinical research in the subspecialty of surgical pathology.He was born in 1940.
Figure 2. Juan Rosai
Ronald F. Dorfman (1923-2012), (Fig. 3), was a Professor of Pathology at Stanford Hospital. An alternative eponym of this condition is known as Destombes-Rosai-Dorfman syndrome, part of which is named afterbPierre-Paul Louis Lucien Destombes, a French pathologist, Born 1912.

Figure 3. Ronald F. Dorfman (1923-2012)

                  Table I. Selected Eponyms in the dermatology literature linked to the histiocytic disorders

1. Komp DM: Historical perspectives of Langerhans cell histiocytosis. Hematol Oncol Clin North Am. 1987;1:9-21.
2. Skinner M, Briant M, Morgan MB: Erdheim-Chester disease: a histiocytic disorder more than skin deep. Am J Dermatopathol. 2011;33:24-6.
3. Volpicelli ER, Doyle L, Annes JP, Murray MF, Jacobsen E, Murphy GF, et al: Erdheim-Chester disease presenting with cutaneous involvement: a case report and literature review. J Cutan Pathol. 2011;38:280-5.
4. Romm S: Jakob Erdheim. Eminent pathologist of Vienna. Am J Dermatopathol. 1987;9:447-50.
5.Holubar K. [Paul Wilhelm Heinrich Langerhans (1847-1888). In memory of the centenary of his death 20 July 1988]. Wien Klin Wochenschr. 1988;100:514-9.
6.Rosai J, Dorfman RF: Sinus histiocytosis with massive lymphadenopathy. A newly recognized benign clinicopathological entity. Arch Pathol. 1969;87:63-70.
7. Brenn T, Calonje E, Granter SR, Leonard N, Grayson W, Fletcher CD, et al: Cutaneous Rosai-Dorfman disease is a distinct clinical entity. Am J Dermatopathol. 2002;24:385-391.



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