Cutaneous lymphomas showing prominent granulomatous component: clinicopathological features in a series of 16 cases

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Abstract

Background

The presence of a prominent granulomatous tissue reaction in skin biopsies from primary cutaneous or systemic malignant lymphomas with secondary cutaneous involvement is a rare but well-known phenomenon.

Objective

This paper aims to characterize and study a series of cutaneous lymphomas showing a prominent granulomatous component.

Patients and methods

The clinical, histopathological and evolutive features of granulomatous variants of mycosis fungoides (5 patients, 2 of them associating ‘granulomatous slack skin’ features), Sézary syndrome (1 patient), CD30+ cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (2 patients), CD4+ small/medium pleomorphic cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (1 patient), primary cutaneous B-cell lymphoma (3 patients) and peripheral T-cell lymphoma with secondary epithelioid granulomatous cutaneous involvement (4 patients) were reviewed.

Results

The observed features were clinically non-distinctive. Only those cases presenting with granulomatous slack skin features were clinically suspected (2 patients). Non-necrotizing granulomata (11 patients) and granuloma annulare-like (4 patients) were the most frequently observed histopathological patterns. In five cases, no diagnostic lymphomatous involvement was initially observed. From our series, no definite conclusions regarding prognosis could be established.

Conclusion

The diagnosis of cutaneous lymphoma may be difficult when a prominent cutaneous granulomatous inflammatory infiltrate obscures the true neoplastic nature of the condition. However, the presence of concomitant lymphoid atypia may help to suspect the diagnosis. In doubtful cases, the clinical evolution and the demonstration of a monoclonal lymphoid B- or T-cell population may lead to a definite diagnosis.

Conflicts of interest

None declared.

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