Presentation of External Ear Rosai-Dorfman Disease With Laryngeal Involvement

Kenji R. Kobayashi, Yusif Hajiyev, Maren Y. Fuller, Gunes Orman, Elton M. Lambert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Rosai-Dorfman disease (RDD) is a rare benign systemic histiocytic proliferation characterized by massive lymph node enlargement and sometimes associated with extranodal involvement. Even though it is considered to be benign, death can occur depending on the extent and location. Our case highlights a primary extranodal site of the right pinna with extension through the Eustachian tube to the subglottis. A previously healthy 15-year-old female presented with 1-year right pinna swelling, slowly enlarging and becoming more bothersome. An incisional biopsy was performed on the ear along with S100 staining yielding a diagnosis. After multidisciplinary case discussion, clofarabine monotherapy and systemic therapy for Langerhans cell histiocytosis has started. Rosai-Dorfman disease can be a general disorder, often affecting the lymph nodes. Unlike a nodal disease, extranodal disease could involve any site on the patient’s anatomy. Head and neck lesions are the most common extranodal lesions. Rosai-Dorfman disease is self-limited in more than 20% of the cases with spontaneous regression without intervention; 70% of the patients have noticeable symptoms and vital organ involvement requiring treatments such as surgery, steroids, radiation, and chemotherapy. In our case, the patient had wide involvement and presented without any serious breathing difficulties; we decided to start with monotherapy with chemotherapy and systematic glucocorticoid treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)NP303-NP307
JournalEar, Nose and Throat Journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Rosai-Dorfman disease
  • external ear
  • head and neck
  • subglottis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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