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The spectrum of cutaneous lymphomas in patients less than 20 years of age.

Research paper by Regina R Fink-Puches, Andreas A Chott, Marco M Ardigó, Ingrid I Simonitsch, Gerardo G Ferrara, Helmut H Kerl, Lorenzo L Cerroni

Indexed on: 06 Oct '04Published on: 06 Oct '04Published in: Pediatric Dermatology



Abstract

Cutaneous lymphomas are rare in young patients and are mostly represented by mycosis fungoides and its variants and CD30+ lymphoproliferative disorders (lymphomatoid papulosis [LYP] and anaplastic large T-cell lymphoma). We report our observations in a series of 69 patients less than 20 years of age who presented either with primary cutaneous lymphoma (n = 62) or with secondary manifestations of extracutaneous disease (n = 7). Clinicopathologic features permitted classification of the cases into the following diagnostic categories: mycosis fungoides (n = 24, all primary cutaneous), anaplastic large T-cell lymphoma (n = 13, all primary cutaneous), LYP (n = 11, all primary cutaneous), subcutaneous "panniculitis-like" T-cell lymphoma (n = 1, primary cutaneous), small-medium pleomorphic T-cell lymphoma (n = 2, all primary cutaneous), natural killer (NK)/T-cell lymphoma, nasal-type (n = 1, secondary cutaneous), follicle center cell lymphoma (n = 1, primary cutaneous), marginal zone B-cell lymphoma (n = 7, all primary cutaneous), B-lymphoblastic lymphomas (n = 6, 3 primary and 3 secondary cutaneous), specific cutaneous manifestations of Hodgkin disease (n = 1, secondary cutaneous), and acute myeloid leukemia (n = 2, both secondary cutaneous). Cutaneous lymphoma in children should be differentiated from benign skin disorders that may simulate them. In particular, mycosis fungoides and LYP in this age group may present with clinicopathologic features reminiscent of inflammatory disorders such as pityriasis alba, vitiligo, pityriasis rosea, and pityriasis lichenoides et varioliformis acuta. Even in secondary cutaneous lymphomas, skin manifestations may be the first sign of the systemic disease, and a diagnosis may be achieved on examination of histopathologic specimens of a cutaneous lesion. Our study illustrates the wide spectrum of cutaneous lymphomas and leukemias in patients less than 20 years of age and underlines the need for proper interpretation of these lesions by dermatologists and dermatopathologists.