BACKGROUND: To study the incidence, clinical patterns, course, and outcome of neonatal Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH). PROCEDURE: Retrospective analysis of the data of the Austrian/German/Swiss/Netherlands LCH Study Group. The incidence of neonatal LCH was estimated with the data from the population-based German Childhood Cancer Registry. RESULTS: The estimated incidence of neonatal LCH (LCH diagnosed within 28 days after birth) in the population-based registry was 1-2/1,000,000. In 61/1,069 trial patients (6%), the first disease manifestations were observed in the neonatal period. However, in only 20 of them, the diagnosis was established within this period. There was a preponderance of multisystem (MS)-LCH 36/61 (59%). Cutaneous changes were the most common initial manifestation in both, single-system (SS)-LCH (92%), and MS-LCH (86%). In 72% of the MS-LCH patients, risk organs (ROs) were involved at diagnosis as well. The probability of survival at 5 years was 94% in SS-LCH and 57% in MS-LCH, which is significantly lower than in older age groups. CONCLUSIONS: In contrast to the available literature, neonatal LCH is characterized by a clear predominance of MS-LCH. Cutaneous changes are the most common initial manifestation in neonates with both SS-LCH and MS-LCH. Prompt evaluation of disease extent upon diagnosis is mandatory for risk-adapted treatment. The disease course is unpredictable upon diagnosis. Close monitoring for disease progression is mandatory if isolated cutaneous LCH is managed by the
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