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Indian J Med Paediatr Oncol. 2009 Jul;30(3):108-12. doi: 10.4103/0971-5851.64257.

Follicular mycosis fungoides - A report of four Indian cases.

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  • 1Departments of Pathology, St. John's Medical College and Hospital, Bangalore - 560 034, India.



Follicular Mycosis Fungoides (FMF) is an under-recognized disease in India. Its clinical mimics include Hansen's disease and Sarcoidosis.


To describe the clinical and pathological features of FMF.


All cases of FMF between January and December 2007 were retrieved. Cases of conventional epidermotropic MF with a minor follicular component were excluded. Slides were reviewed by two observers. The following criteria were assessed: degree and density of folliculotropism of lymphocytes, location of folliculotropism (infundibular / isthmic / bulbar), follicular mucin, eosinophils, granulomas, and conventional epidermotropism. Each feature was assigned a semi-quantitative grade.


There were four cases of FMF, with an equal gender distribution and a mean age of 17.5 years. All lesions were on the face. They presented as: hypopigmented patches (2) and erythematous plaques (2). Alopecia was seen in two cases. The clinical diagnosis was Hansen's disease in all four, with a differential of Alopecia mucinosa / Sarcoidosis in two cases.The histological features seen were: disproportionate folliculotropism, lymphocyte tagging with haloes, follicular mucin, and nucleomegaly / convolution in all four cases, prominent eosinophils (2), epithelioid granulomas (1), eccrine infiltration (4), parakeratosis at the follicular ostia (2), and sebaceotropism (1). The infiltrate was bulbar (4) and isthmic (2). The rest of the epidermis showed no hint of conventional MF.


The preferential features for FMF were involvement of face, dominant folliculotropism, nuclear atypia and convolution, and follicular mucin. Presence of granulomas and eosinophils necessitated exclusion of infectious causes. The absence of findings of MF in the rest of the epidermis should not deter pathologists from rendering this diagnosis.


Alopecia mucinosa; follicular mucinosis; follicular mycosis fungoides

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