Management and outcomes of pneumothorax in adult patients with Langerhans cell Histiocytosis

Pierre Le Guen, Sylvie Chevret, Emmanuelle Bugnet, Constance De Margerie-Mellon, Gwenaël Lorillon, Agathe Seguin-Givelet, Fanélie Jouenne, Dominique Gossot, Robert Vassallo, Abdellatif Tazi

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3 Scopus citations


Background: Pneumothorax may recur during pulmonary Langerhans cell histiocytosis (PLCH) patients' follow-up and its management is not standardised. The factors associated with pneumothorax recurrence are unknown. Methods: In this retrospective study, PLCH patients who experienced a pneumothorax and were followed for at least 6 months after the first episode were eligible. The objectives were to describe the treatment of the initial episode and pneumothorax recurrences during follow-up. We also searched for factors associated with pneumothorax recurrence and evaluated the effect on lung function outcome. Time to recurrence was estimated by the Kaplan Meier method and the cumulative hazard of recurrence handling all recurrent events was estimated. Univariate Cox models and Andersen-Gill counting process were used for statistical analyses. Results: Fourty-three patients (median age 26.5 years [interquartile range (IQR), 22.9-35.4]; 26 men, 39 current smokers) were included and followed for median time of 49 months. Chest tube drainage was the main management of the initial pneumothorax, which resolved in 70% of cases. Pneumothorax recurred in 23 (53%) patients, and overall 96 pneumothoraces were observed during the study period. In the subgroup of patients who experienced pneumothorax recurrence, the median number of episodes per patient was 3 [IQR, 2-4]. All but one recurrence occurred within 2 years after the first episode. Thoracic surgery neither delayed the time of occurrence of the first ipsilateral recurrence nor reduced the overall number of recurrences during the study period, although the rate of recurrence was lower after thoracotomy than following video-assisted thoracic surgery (p = 0.03). At the time of the first pneumothorax, the presence of air trapping on lung function testing was associated with increased risk of recurrence (hazard ratio = 5.08; 95% confidence interval [1.18, 21.8]; p = 0.03). Pneumothorax recurrence did not predict subsequent lung function decline (p = 0.058). Conclusions: Our results show that pneumothorax recurrences occur during an "active" phase of PLCH. In this observational study, the time of occurrence of the first ipsilateral recurrence and the overall number of pneumothorax recurrences were similar after conservative and thoracic surgical treatments. Further studies are needed to determine the best management to reduce the risk of pneumothorax recurrence in PLCH patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number229
JournalOrphanet Journal of Rare Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 21 2019


  • Langerhans cell histiocytosis
  • Management
  • Outcome
  • Pneumothorax
  • Recurrence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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