Hepatic sinusoidal hemophagocytosis with and without hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis

Autoři: Jacqueline De Gottardi aff001;  Matteo Montani aff002;  Anne Angelillo-Scherrer aff003;  Alicia Rovo aff003;  Annalisa Berzigotti aff001
Působiště autorů: Hepatology, University Clinic of Visceral Surgery and Medicine, Inselspital, DBMR, University of Bern, Berne, Switzerland aff001;  Institute of Pathology, University of Bern, Berne, Switzerland aff002;  Department of Hematology, Inselspital, University of Bern, Berne, Switzerland aff003
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(12)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0226899



Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is a rare, life threatening hyperinflammatory syndrome. Sinusoidal hemophagocytosis is occasionally observed on liver biopsy in patients who do not have clinical suspicion of HLH. We aimed at comparing the clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients with signs of hemophagocytosis on liver biopsy meeting and not meeting the HLH diagnostic criteria.


We reviewed the clinical, laboratory features and outcomes of all adult patients consecutively admitted in our center between 08/2011 and 08/2017 presenting with liver histology showing sinusoidal hemophagocytosis and of critically ill patients presenting with severe liver disease in whom hemophagocytosis was histologically confirmed. The characteristics of patients fulfilling and not fulfilling the diagnostic criteria of HLH were compared.


We identified 12 cases (58% male, median age 61, 75% with a chronic underlying disease) with liver histology showing sinusoidal hemophagocytosis. All had at least some of the clinical features typically associated with HLH. Six were critical ill patients. In 4 cases with insufficient laboratory and clinical criteria, liver biopsy allowed to confirm the HLH diagnosis. Six patients died, of which four met the diagnostic criteria for HLH. Two patients with chronic liver disease died despite not fulfilling the diagnostic criteria of HLH.


Hemophagocytosis on liver biopsy may contribute to confirming a diagnosis of HLH in suspected cases with indeterminate clinical and laboratory findings. Sinusoidal hemophagocytosis in patients with cirrhosis was associated with bad outcome.

Klíčová slova:

Biopsy – Bone marrow – Cancer detection and diagnosis – Clinical laboratories – Diagnostic medicine – Fevers – Histology – Liver diseases


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2019 Číslo 12
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