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Joined: Sep 16, 2018

Help with Histiocytes

Posted by @peabody88, Tue, Oct 2 11:28pm

This may be completely normal, but it's come up twice in pathology and I'm having trouble finding information on what it means or could mean, so I thought I'd throw it out here and see if anyone knows anything.

I've had some findings of histiocytes noted in pathology reports, and the infectious disease specialist didn't think it was normal but wasn't sure what it meant. Two years ago they identified foamy histiocytes during a liver biopsy done from a lesion found during gallbladder removal for gallstones (a new lesion has since developed since that one was removed, identified on MRI as a benign-appearing focal nodular hyperplasia), and a recent colonoscopy biopsy mentions pigment-laden histiocytes in the ileum samples. I did find that pigment-laden histiocytes in the colon have been associated with laxative use, but I've never used laxatives other than that nasty Suprep colonoscopy prep gunk the night before, which I don't think would have manifested any changes so quickly or after just a single use.

From the colonoscopy biopsy (colon-terminal ileum): "There is no evidence of inflammatory bowel disease or microscopic colitis in either specimen. Two of the five pieces of mucosa from the ileum have pigment-laden histiocytes in the deep mucosa / superficial submucosa. A Prussian blue stain is negative, indicating that the granular pigment is not iron. The significance, if any, of these pigment-laden histiocytes is unclear."

From the liver biopsy: "The sections of the liver biospy show a benign vascular lesions, consistant wth a cavernous hemangioma. The surrounding liver shows mixed inflammation of the portal tracts, which is mild to moderate, and contains neutrophils, eosinophils and lymphocytes, predominantly. Foamy histiocytes are also seen in association with the portal tract. The liver parenchyma is unremarkable. There is no evidence of malignacy."

Again, likely nothing, but just wanted to check in case it has any bearing on my current chronic issues. Any knowledge about these kind of findings, or experience with histiocytosis or histiocytic disorders, is appreciated. Thanks!


I had an enlarged lymph gland in the groin area removed. I was in alot of abdominal pain, and lost weight rapidly. Surgeon suspected the worst.
Biopsies reported sinus histiocytosis, benign for lymphoma. When I look up this finding it is said to be Rosai Dorfman disease . There are several types of histiocytosis, so try looking them up, and going by your symptoms. There are other factors in your biopsies which should show other cells…mine had B cells, and no cancerous cells. Sometimes the lymph nodes show they're fighting a nearby infection. Try looking it up, and ask your drs.

Has anyone talked with you about Erdheim-Chester disease/Rosai Dorfman? Dr. Ron Go is the expert at Mayo.

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