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Letterer–Siwe disease


Letterer–Siwe disease is one of the four recognized clinical syndromes of Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH). It causes approximately 10% of LCH disease and is the most severe form. Prevalence is estimated at 1:500,000 and the disease almost exclusively occurs in children less than three years old. The name is derived from the names of Erich Letterer and Sture Siwe.

Clinical Presentation

.Letterer-Siwe is characterized by skin lesions, ear drainage, lymphadenopathy, osteolytic lesions, and hepatosplenomegaly. The skin lesions are scaly and may involve the scalp, ear canals, and abdomen.


The disease is often rapidly fatal, with a five year survival rate of 50%. The development of thrombocytopenia is a poor prognostic sign.