Twenty-seven cases of histiocytosis X (HX) for which paraffin blocks were available were studied with the use of S-100 protein immunohistochemistry, peanut agglutinin affinity histochemistry, and transmission electron microscopy. The results show that these techniques did enable identification of Langerhans'-type histiocytes in 88.5%, 75%, and 47.4% of cases, respectively. All techniques were proved to be of some diagnostic value for HX, but none was able to confirm the diagnosis in all instances and none could foretell the prognosis of the patients. This study shows that besides the Langerhans' cells, the indeterminate cells of the skin and the interdigitating dendritic reticulum cells of the lymph node may also be involved in this process. Moreover, some multinucleate giant cells and foamy cells may be derived from Langerhans' and related cells.
F. Ye, S. W. Huang, H. Dong
American journal of clinical pathology