ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Langerhans cell histiocytosis. Coloured scintigram of the front (left) and back of the skeleton of a patient with Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH). LCH is characterised by a great increase in the presence of histiocytes, an immune cell. A radioactive tracer that attaches itself to these cells has been injected into the patient. The white and blue areas are those with a high concentration of these cells. As can be seen the histiocytes move into bone, forming tumours and causing pain and swelling. Treatment is with corticosteroids, and most patients recover fully, although some will relapse. The cause of the disease is not known.
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