Bilateral temporal bone langerhans cell histiocytosis: radiologic pearls

Mira A. Coleman, Jane Matsumoto, Carrie Carr, Laurence J. Eckel, Amulya A. Nageswara Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) is a rare histiocytic disorder with an unpredictable clinical course and highly varied clinical presentation ranging from single system to multisystem involvement. Although head and neck involvement is common in LCH, isolated bilateral temporal bone involvement is exceedingly rare. Furthermore, LCH is commonly misinterpreted as mastoiditis, otitis media and otitis externa, delaying diagnosis and appropriate therapeutic management. To improve detection and time to treatment, it is imperative to have LCH in the differential diagnosis for unusual presentations of the aforementioned infectious head and neck etiologies. Any lytic lesion of the temporal bone identified by radiology should raise suspicion for LCH. We hereby describe the radiologic findings of a case of bilateral temporal bone LCH, originally misdiagnosed as mastoiditis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-57
Number of pages5
JournalThe open neuroimaging journal
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


  • Bilateral temporal bone
  • CT
  • Langerhans cell histiocytosis
  • Mastoiditis
  • MRI.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


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