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Autoimmune Diseases and Rosai-Dorfman Disease Coexist More Commonly than Expected: Two Case Reports

Challenging differential diagnosis, Unusual or unexpected effect of treatment, Rare co-existance of disease or pathology

Nerea Lopetegui-Lia, Syed Daniyal Asad, Syed Imran Jafri, Jonathan S. Harrison

Department of Internal Medicine, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, CT, USA

Am J Case Rep 2019; 20:770-772

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.915627

Available online:

Published: 2019-05-31

BACKGROUND: The educational objective of this study was to describe 2 case reports in which patients were found to have an autoimmune disease concomitantly with a rare, benign histiocytic disorder known as Rosai-Dorfman disease (RDD). It is unclear if there is an underlying association between autoimmune disease and RDD. Lymphadenopathy, although most frequently seen bilaterally in the cervical region in RDD, may be present anywhere. A biopsy with histologic confirmation is required to not only evaluate for malignancy in these cases, but also necessary to diagnose RDD.
CASE REPORT: We describe 2 cases in which RDD was found incidentally in 2 patients who concomitantly had known autoimmune diseases. The first patient’s history included Factor II deficiency, antiphospholipid syndrome, and autoimmune hemolytic anemia; whereas the second patient had a positive antinuclear antibody test, elevated rheumatoid factor, positive lupus anticoagulant, and positive beta-2 glycoprotein 1 antibodies, as well as positive anticardiolipin antibody panel, immune mediated thrombocytopenia, and pernicious anemia. Lymphadenopathy and an enlarged mass were seen in these cases respectively, which were histologically proven to be RDD. Steroid therapy was the mainstay of treatment.
CONCLUSIONS: Autoimmune diseases are relatively common in the general population and it appears that RDD coexists more often than suspected. When lymphadenopathy or a mass is seen, especially in those with other autoimmune diseases, RDD should remain within the differential diagnosis. Further research is required to determine characteristics and optimal management of RDD. We have observed in the cases presented, that if the autoimmune disease is well controlled, RDD can be an indolent disease.

Keywords: Autoimmune Diseases, Histiocytosis, Sinus, Immunoblastic Lymphadenopathy