Leonine facies (LF) and mycosis fungoides (MF): A single-center study and systematic review of the literature

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Leonine facies (LF) is defined as displaying facial features similar to that of a lion with prominent convexities and furrowed creases. LF develops in a very small population of patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.


We aimed to study the clinicopathologic features and overall prognosis associated with LF in patients with mycosis fungoides and Sézary syndrome.


We conducted a single-center retrospective study, reviewing 1338 patients with mycosis fungoides seen from 1987 to 2015 at a tertiary referral center for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, and a systematic review of 14 patients in the literature.


We identified 10 patients with mycosis fungoides who developed LF. Folliculotropism was seen in all patients with LF who had facial biopsy specimens. Radiation was a beneficial therapy. Complete remission was achieved in 1 patient and overall 5-year survival was 26%. Systematic review of 10 additional patients showed that all patients with LF, including ours, had stage-IV disease and some degree of blood involvement, but not all met criteria for Sézary syndrome.


This was a retrospective study with a small sample size.


LF is associated with stage-IV cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, is often accompanied by folliculotropism and blood involvement, and can be treated with local electron beam therapy.

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