Neurology India
menu-bar5 Open access journal indexed with Index Medicus
  Users online: 2925  
 Home | Login 
About Editorial board Articlesmenu-bullet NSI Publicationsmenu-bullet Search Instructions Online Submission Subscribe Videos Etcetera Contact
  Navigate Here 
 Resource Links
  »  Similar in PUBMED
 »  Search Pubmed for
 »  Search in Google Scholar for
 »Related articles
  »  Article in PDF (659 KB)
  »  Citation Manager
  »  Access Statistics
  »  Reader Comments
  »  Email Alert *
  »  Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this Article
 »  Abstract
 » Introduction
 » Case Report
 » Discussion
 »  References
 »  Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded109    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 7    

Recommend this journal


Table of Contents    
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 59  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 443-446

Isolated intracranial Rosai Dorfman disease

1 Department of Neurosurgery, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, Kerala, India
2 Department of Pathology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, Kerala, India

Date of Submission20-Oct-2010
Date of Decision21-Oct-2010
Date of Acceptance04-Feb-2011
Date of Web Publication7-Jul-2011

Correspondence Address:
Venkidesh Krishnamoorthy
Manas, Madathilparambu, Palace Ward, Alappuzha - 688 011, Kerala
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0028-3886.82770

Rights and Permissions

 » Abstract 

Rosai Dorfman disease (RDD), also known as sinus histiocytosis with massive lymphadenopathy, is a benign histiocytic proliferative disorder mainly affecting the lymph nodes. Although several cases of extra-nodal involvement have been reported previously, central nervous system involvement, particularly in the absence of nodal disease is extremely rare. We report a case of isolated intracranial RDD occurring in a relatively elder patient, which was shown by histological examination to have a dura-based involvement.

Keywords: Emperipolesis, histiocytosis, lymphadenopathy, Rosai-Dorfman

How to cite this article:
Krishnamoorthy V, Parmar CF, Panikar D. Isolated intracranial Rosai Dorfman disease. Neurol India 2011;59:443-6

How to cite this URL:
Krishnamoorthy V, Parmar CF, Panikar D. Isolated intracranial Rosai Dorfman disease. Neurol India [serial online] 2011 [cited 2022 Jun 26];59:443-6. Available from: https://www.neurologyindia.com/text.asp?2011/59/3/443/82770

 » Introduction Top

Sinus histiocytosis with massive lymphadenopathy (SHML), a rare but well-defined clinicopathological entity first described in 1969, affects children and adolescents predominantly. The most common presentation is bilateral painless cervical lymphadenopathy. [1],[2] An extra-nodal manifestation of the disease occurs in up to 43% of the patients; and occurs in the absence of lymphadenopathy in 23% of the patients. The most common extra-nodal sites affected are the soft tissues of the head and neck and the paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity. [2] Isolated central nervous system (CNS) involvement without nodal involvement is extremely rare; only few cases have been reported in literature so far.

 » Case Report Top

A 51-year-old male presented with unsteadiness of gait, of four months' duration, occasional episodes of low grade fever, of three months' duration, and a recent onset of blurring of vision, of three weeks' duration. On neurological examination there was left-sided spastic hemiparesis. Clinically he had no lymph node enlargement. Non-contrast computerized tomography (CT) of the brain revealed an ill-defined, extra-axial mass lesion involving the right frontal region with peri-lesional edema. Contrast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed a dural-based, brightly enhancing lesion, involving the right frontal region, suggestive of convexity meningioma [Figure 1]a-c. CT of the chest and abdomen did not reveal any lymph node enlargement. Ultrasound examination of the neck was unremarkable. He underwent right frontal craniotomy and excision of the lesion. Pre-operatively the dura was found to be very much thickened, with a nodular inner surface that was impinging on the brain surface. There was a good pial plane between the tumor and the brain surface. The postoperative course was uneventful. Microscopic examination [Figure 2]a and b revealed dura infiltrated with sheets of histiocytes, lymphocytes, and plasma cells, and focally by polymorphs. The histiocytes showed features of emperipolesis. There was no nuclear grooving or convolutions in the histiocytes. No eosinophils or granuloma or meningothelial cell clusters were seen. Immunohistochemistry for the S-100 protein and CD68 antibody confirmed the presence of histiocytes. Based on these histological features a diagnosis of Rosai Dorfman disease was made. He was discharged on low-dose steroids for a month. MRI done at the end of three months showed no evidence of any residual or recurrent lesion [Figure 3] a-c and his spasticity involving the left upper and lower limb had significantly improved. [3],[4]
Figure 1: Preoperative MR (a) T1 contrast revealing the brightly enhancing dural-based lesion (b) T2 coronal section revealing white matter edema (c) Sagittal section showing the dural tail

Click here to view
Figure 2: (a) Dura with the underlying lesion (b) Pale histiocytes showing engulfed lymphocytes

Click here to view
Figure 3: Follow-up MRI done three months post the operation showing no evidence of recurrence (a) T1 contrast (b) FLAIR sequence (c) T1 contrast coronal sequence

Click here to view

 » Discussion Top

The term SHML was first introduced by Ronald F. Dorfman and Juan Rosai based on four cases, published in 1969, in the Archives of Pathology journal, with the title 'Sinus histiocytosis with massive lymphadenopathy: A newly recognized benign clinicopathologic entity'. [1] The synonym of this condition is Destombes-Rosai-Dorfman syndrome, named after Pierre-Paul Louis Lucien Destombes, Juan Rosai, and Ronald F. Dorfman.

The disease is characterized by massive, painless, bilateral cervical lymphadenopathy, often associated with fever, leukocytosis, mild anemia, elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and polyclonal hypergammaglobulinemia. [2] Although extra-nodal involvement has been reported in diverse sites, CNS involvement, particularly in the absence of nodal disease is rare . [2] The most common presentations of CNS involvement, in the largest series, include headaches, seizures, numbness, and paraplegia. [5],[6] Frequent lesion locations include cerebral convexities, para-sagittal, supra-sellar, cavernous sinus, and petroclival regions. [5],[7],[8],[9],[10],[11] Purely intraparenchymal lesions have also been reported. [5],[12] There are isolated case reports involving the orbit, pituitary, cerebellar, and cervical extradural involvement. [13],[14],[15],[16],[17] The other extra-nodal sites include skin, soft tissues, respiratory system, genitourinary system, bones, orbit, thyroid, and breast. [2],[18],[19],[20],[21],[22],[23] Male to female ratio is about 1.4 : 1. [18],[19] The etiology, pathogenesis, and natural history of Rosai-Dorfman disease are still unknown. Although an infection has been suggested as an underlying cause, a definitive agent has never been isolated. [2] Molecular studies using polymorphic regions of the human androgen receptor locus have demonstrated that RDD is a polyclonal disorder, [1],[2] in contrast to Langerhans cell histiocytosis, which is a monoclonal disorder. [24]

Histologically, Rosai Dorfman disease is characterized by large histiocytes, which often show apparently viable and intact hematopoietic cells (mostly lymphocytes) within the cytoplasm without undergoing degenerative changes, a phenomenon known as Emperipolesis (lymphophagocytosis), derived from the Greek word 'em + peripolesis' = going about. On immunohistochemical examination, these are positive for S-100 protein and negative for CD1a, a marker of Langerhans histiocytosis. [25],[26]

There are no definitive treatment guidelines for Rosai Dorfman disease. A majority of these undergo spontaneous regression. The mortality rate is approximately low, 7%. Major complications include airway obstruction, immunological disorder, and infection. Usually, concomitant immune dysfunction is present. [27] The prognosis of CNS Rosai Dorfman disease is not bad. Petzold et al. found tumor regrowth or recurrence of symptoms in 14% of the 29 patients, with a mean follow-up of 10.1 years. Only 52% of these patients had undergone brain imaging at follow-up. They concluded that a five-year follow-up with brain imaging was essential and advocated low-dose radiation to treat patients with sub-total resection and recurrence. Although a variety of treatment modalities had been used, including steroid therapy and radiation, surgical resection appeared to be the most appropriate approach. [28],[29],[30] There have been some reports of success in treating Rosai-Dorfman disease with a combination of cytotoxic agents such as alkylating agents, vinca alkaloids, and prednisone. [31] Decision to follow-up the patient with serial imaging is an accepted modality. Our patient was maintained on low steroids postoperatively, for a month. A repeat MRI done at the end of three months did not reveal any residual or recurrence involving the operative bed.

 » References Top

1.Rosai J, Dorfman RF. Sinus histiocytosis with massive lymphadenopathy: A newly recognized benign clinicopathologic entity. Arch Pathol 1969;87:63-70.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Foucar E, Rosai J, Dorfman RF. Sinus histiocytosis with massive lymphadenopathy (Rosai-Dorfman Disease): Review of the entity. Semin Diagn Pathol 1990;7:19-73.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Foss HD, Herbst H, Araujo I, Hummel M, Berg E, Schmitt-Gräff A, et al. Monokine expression in Langerhans' cell histiocytosis and sinus histiocytosis with massive lymphadenopathy (Rosai-Dorfman disease). J Pathol 1996;179:60-5.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Paulli M, Bergamaschi G, Tonon L, Viglio A, Rosso R, Facchetti F, et al. Evidence for a polyclonal nature of the cell infiltrate in sinus histiocytosis with massive lymphadenopathy (Rosai-Dorfman disease). Br J Haematol 1995;91:415-8.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Andriko JA, Morrison A, Colegial CH, Davis BJ, Jones RV. Rosai-Dorfman disease isolated to the central nervous system: A report of 11 cases. Mod Pathol 2001;14:172-8.   Back to cited text no. 5
6.Petzold A, Thom M, Powell M, Plant GT. Relapsing intracranial Rosai-Dorfman disease J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2001;71:538-41.   Back to cited text no. 6
7.Kattner KA, Stroink AR, Roth TC, Lee JM. Rosai-Dorfman disease mimicking parasagittal meningioma: Case presentation and review of literature. Surg Neurol 2000;53:452-7.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Huang HY, Huang CC, Lui CC, Chen HJ, Chen WJ. Isolated intracranial Rosai-Dorfman disease: Case report and literature review. Pathol Int 1998;48:396-402.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Wu M, Anderson AE, Kahn LB. A report of intracranial Rosai-Dorfman disease with literature review. Ann Diagn Pathol 2001;5:96-102.  Back to cited text no. 9
10.Kitai R, Sato K, Kubota T, Kabuto M, Kawano H, Kobayashi H, et al. Meningeal sinus histiocytosis mimicking lymphoplasmacyte-rich meningioma. J Neurosurg 1996;84:1051-4.  Back to cited text no. 10
11.Deodhare SS, Ang LC, Bilbao JM. Isolated intracranial involvement in Rosai-Dorfman disease: A report of two cases and review ofthe literature. Arch Pathol Lab Med 1998;122:161-5.  Back to cited text no. 11
12.Juriæ G, Jakiæ-Razumoviæ J, Rotim K, Zarkoviæ K. Extranodal sinus histiocytosis (Rosai-Dorfman disease) of the brain parenchyma. Acta Neurochir (Wien) 2003;145:145-9.  Back to cited text no. 12
13.Ng HK, Poon WS. Sinus histiocytosis with massive lymphadenopathy localized to the sella. Br J Neurosurg 1995;9:551-5.  Back to cited text no. 13
14.Kelly WF, Bradey N, Scoones D. Rosai-Dorfman disease presenting as a pituitary tumour. Clin Endocrinol 1999;50:133-7.  Back to cited text no. 14
15.Rotondo F, Munoz DG, Hegele RG, Gray B, Khatun N, Bonert M, et al. Rosai-Dorfman disease involving the neurohypophysis. Pituitary 2010;13:256-9.  Back to cited text no. 15
16.Gaetani P, Tancioni F, Di Rocco M, Rodriguez y Baena R. Isolated cerebellar involvement in Rosai-Dorfman disease: case report. Neurosurgery 2000;46:479-81  Back to cited text no. 16
17.Purav P, Ganapathy K, Mallikarjuna VS, Annapurneswari S, Kalyanaraman S, Reginald J, et al. Rosai-Dorfman disease of the central nervous system. J Clin Neurosci 2005;12:656-9.  Back to cited text no. 17
18.Brenn T, Calonje E, Granter SR, Leonard N, Grayson W, Fletcher CD, et al. Cutaneous Rosai-Dorfman disease is a clinical entity. Am J Dermatopathol 2002;24:385-91.  Back to cited text no. 18
19.George J, Stacy G, Peabody T, Montag A. Rosai-Dorfman disease manifesting as a solitary lesion of the radius in a 41 year old woman. Skeletal Radiol 2003;32:236-9. Epub 2003 Mar 08.  Back to cited text no. 19
20.McAlister WH, Herman T, Dehner LP. Sinus histiocytosis with massive lymphadenopathy (Rosai-Dorfman disease). Pediatr Radiol 1990;20:425-32.  Back to cited text no. 20
21.Deshmukh RR, Kumar V, Kumbhari D. Sinus histiocytosis of the thyroid with massive lymphadenopathy (Rosai-Dorfman Disease). J Indian Med Assoc 2003;101:597-8.  Back to cited text no. 21
22.Ture U, Seker A, Bozkurt SU, Uneri C, Sav A, Pamir MN. Giant intracranial Rosai-Dorfman disease. J Clin Neurosci 2004;11:563-6.  Back to cited text no. 22
23.Green I, Dorfman RF, Rosai J. Breast involvement by extranodal Rosai-Dorfman disease: Report of seven cases. Am J Surg Pathol 1997;21:664-8.  Back to cited text no. 23
24.Willman CL, Busque L, Griffith BB, Favara BE, McClain KL, Duncan MH, et al. Langerhans'-cell histiocytosis (histiocytosis X)-a clonal proliferative disease. N Engl J Med 1994;331:154-60.  Back to cited text no. 24
25.Eisen RN, Buckley PJ, Rosai J. Immunophenotypic characterization of sinus histiocytosis with massive lymphadenopathy (Rosai-Dorfman disease). Semin Diagn Pathol 1990;7:74-82.  Back to cited text no. 25
26.Warnke RA, Weiss LM, Chan JK, Cleary ML, Dorfman RF. Sinus histiocytosis with massive lymphadenopathy (Rosai-Dorfman disease). In: Rosai J, editors. Atlas of Tumor Pathology, 3rd Series: Tumors of the Lymph Nodes and Spleen. Washington: Armed Forces Institute of Pathology; 1995. p. 349-60.  Back to cited text no. 26
27.Wang E, Anzai Y, Paulino A, Wong J. Rosai-Dorfman Disease Presenting with Isolated Bilateral Orbital Masses: Report of Two Cases. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol 2001;22:1386-8.   Back to cited text no. 27
28.Kim M, Provias J, Bernstein M. Rosai-Dorfman disease mimicking multiple meningioma: Case report. Neurosurgery 1995;36:1185-7.  Back to cited text no. 28
29.Udono H, Fukuyama K, Okamoto H, Tabuchi K. Rosai-Dorfman disease presenting multiple intracranial lesions with unique findings on magnetic resonance imaging. Case report. J Neurosurg 1999;91:335-9.  Back to cited text no. 29
30.Sharma MS, Padua MD, Jha AN. Rosai-Dorfman disease mimicking a sphenoid wing meningioma, Neurol India 2005;53:110-1.   Back to cited text no. 30
31.Komp DM. The treatment of sinus histiocytosis with massive lymphadenopathy (Rosai-Dorfman disease). Semin Diagn Pathol 1990;7:83-6.  Back to cited text no. 31


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]

This article has been cited by
1 Rosai-Dorfman intracranial histiocytosis: case report and literature review
K.V. Shevchenko, V.N. Shimansky, S.V. Zolotova, S.A. Galstyan, S.V. Tanyashin, V.V. Karnaukhov, I.O. Kugushev
Voprosy neirokhirurgii imeni N.N. Burdenko. 2022; 86(1): 81
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 Rosai-Dorfman disease mimicking images of meningiomas: Two case reports and literature review
Rafael Trindade Tatit, Paulo Eduardo Albuquerque Zito Raffa, Giovana Cassia de Almeida Motta, André Alexandre Bocchi, Júlia Loripe Guimaraes, Paulo Roberto Franceschini, Paulo Henrique Pires de Aguiar
Surgical Neurology International. 2021; 12: 292
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
3 Symptomatic intracranial rosai-dorfman disease in the suprasellar region treated with conformal radiotherapy - A report of two cases and literature review
Ajay Sasidharan, Anuj Verma, Sridhar Epari, Tejpal Gupta, Siddhartha Laskar, Nehal Khanna, Rahul Krishnartry, Bhausaheb Bagel, Hasmukh Jain, JayantS Goda
Neurology India. 2020; 68(2): 489
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
4 A rare case of isolated intracranial Rosai–Dorfman disease mimicking optic nerve meningioma: A case report and literature review
HaniTalal Aljohani, Srour Robin
Asian Journal of Neurosurgery. 2018; 13(3): 845
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
5 Isolated Intracranial Rosai-Dorfman Disease
Md. Taufiq,Abul Khair,Ferdousy Begum,Shabnam Akhter,Md. Shamim Farooq,Mohammed Kamal
Case Reports in Neurological Medicine. 2016; 2016: 1
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
6 Rosai-Dorfman Disease of the Central Nervous System
Jose D. Sandoval-Sus,Ana C. Sandoval-Leon,Jennifer R. Chapman,Jose Velazquez-Vega,Maria J. Borja,Shai Rosenberg,Alexander Lossos,Izidore S. Lossos
Medicine. 2014; 93(3): 165
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
7 Rosai-Dorfman Disease and neurological manifestations
Sundaram, C.
Neurology India. 2011; 59(3): 329-330


Print this article  Email this article
Online since 20th March '04
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow