A 42-year-old woman was admitted because of a newly perceived pain localized in the ventral part of the fifth left rib. The physical examination was normal except for a palpable nodular thyroid and pain on palpation of this rib. The patient history contained a serious car accident and severe cigarette abuse.The chest x-ray in "bone technique" showed an osteolysis in the fifth left rib, which was confirmed by computer tomography and bone scan. The high resolution CT scan of the lung revealed a discrete interstitial reticular pattern with minor cystic alterations without lymph node enlargement.Transbronchial biopsy, bronchoalveolar lavage and a malignancy screening did not lead to a diagnosis. Therefore, the patient was submitted to partial rib resection and open lung biopsy. Histological examination revealed a Langerhans cell histiocytosis. The initial therapeutic approach was a strict smoking cessation.The differential diagnosis of a lytic bone lesion in a heavy smoker should include Langerhans cell histiocytosis. On smoking cessation a remission of the disease may be achieved.
View details for Web of Science ID 000184830500003
View details for PubMedID 12920667