Introduction: Congenital Langerhans cell histiocytosis is usually limited to cutaneous lesions and has a good prognosis. In rare cases of gut involvement, mortality is high and early and aggressive treatment essential.
Materials and Methods: We report a case of histiocytosis in a newborn with bowel involvement, and performed a literature review of 13 similar cases worldwide documented between 1973 and 2008.
Results: Skin eruptions are usually the initial symptoms at birth. Bloody stools or protein-losing enteropathy are the first signs of bowel involvement that appear mostly in the first 4 weeks of life. Risk organs (hematopoietic system, liver, spleen) are often affected in the newborns with intestinal Langerhans cell histiocytosis. Prognosis is usually poor, with 78.5% mortality.
Conclusions: Even if histiocytosis in a neonate appears limited to autoinvoluting skin lesions, it is important to exclude all other organ involvement, including the bowel and stomach, as early treatment is vital.