, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 345-351
Date: 21 Mar 2013

Multicentric Castleman’s Disease: A Challenging Diagnosis

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Multicentric Castleman’s disease (MCD) is a sytemic disorder with flares of non-specific symptoms suggestive of a chronic inflammatory syndrome. It is typically accompanied by generalized lymphadenopathy and multiorgan involvement. Histologically, two main variants of Castleman’s disease exist, the hyalin vascular type and the plasma cell variant. Upon localization unicentric (localized), and multicentric (diffuse, systemic) subtypes can be distinguished with more different disease outcomes. Patients often exhibit acute phase reactions and several autoimmune phenomena, and are at high risk for developing malignancies. Both the idiopathic and the HHV-8-driven infectious forms of MCD represent distinct disease entities with a less favorable prognosis. The induction of human IL-6 excess via yet unknown upstream mechanisms, and overexpression of viral IL-6 by HHV-8 can pivotally influence MCD biology. Based on the role of IL-6 in pathogenesis, MCD is also designated as IL-6 lymphadenopathy. To date there are no direct therapeutic evidences, but having been translated to daily practice the main regulatory factors may serve as promising therapeutic targets.