Ophthalmologic Involvement in Adults with Histiocytic Disorders: Clinical Presentation and Treatment Outcomes

Mayo Clinic-University of Alabama at Birmingham Histiocytosis Working Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To evaluate the clinical presentation, treatment, and outcomes in adult patients with histiocytic disorders with ocular, orbital, optic nerve, or cavernous sinus involvement. Design: Observational, retrospective chart review. Participants: Adult patients (age ≥ 18 years) at Mayo Clinic from January 1, 1996, to July 1, 2021, with histiocytic disorders. Inclusion criteria were (1) histiocytic disorder by biopsy and appropriate clinical phenotype; (2) available medical records; and (3) ocular, orbital, optic nerve, or cavernous sinus involvement. Methods: Retrospective chart review. Main Outcome Measures: Response to therapy, measured in clinical and radiographic impact. Results: Thirty-two patients were identified: 7 with Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH); 15 with Erdheim-Chester disease (ECD); 1 with mixed LCH/ECD phenotype; 8 with Rosai-Dorfman disease (RDD); and 1 with mixed RDD/ECD phenotype. Ophthalmologic involvement was part of the initial presentation in 69% of patients (22/32). Eyelid edema (13/32, 41%) and proptosis (12/32, 38%) were the most frequent presentations. Isolated orbital or cavernous sinus involvement was present in 3 of 7 patients with LCH and 1 of 8 patients with RDD. Optic nerve sheath involvement was present in 2 of 7 LCH patients, 14 of 15 ECD patients, and 1 RDD/ECD patient. Diffuse (> 75%) orbital involvement was seen in 12 of 15 ECD patients and 1 of 7 LCH patients. Ocular involvement was seen in 1 of 15 ECD patients, 6 of 8 RDD patients, and 1 of 1 mixed RDD/ECD patient. The cavernous sinuses were involved in 1 of 7 LCH patients, 5 of 15 ECD patients, and both mixed phenotype patients. Visual acuity was affected in 14 patients (14/24, 58%) with a median logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution visual acuity of 0.1 (range, –0.12 to 3). BRAF V600E mutations were found in 75% (3/4) of LCH patients and 91% (10/11) of ECD patients. Patients received a variety of treatment, and response was variable across disease types. Conclusions: Orbital involvement was more commonly seen in LCH and ECD, whereas ocular involvement was more common in RDD. Visual acuity may be impacted from ocular involvement or compression of the optic nerve with diffuse orbital involvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-86
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • Cavernous sinus
  • Histiocytosis
  • Optic nerve
  • Visual acuity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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