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Arch Dermatol. 2000 Jul;136(7):889-96.

Cytophagic histiocytic panniculitis and subcutaneous panniculitis-like T-cell lymphoma: report of 7 cases.

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  • 1Istituto di Scienze Dermatologiche, University of Milan and IRCCS Ospedale Maggiore, Via Pace, 9, 20122 Milan, Italy.



Cytophagic histiocytic panniculitis (CHP) is a rare subtype of panniculitis that usually follows a fatal course, with a terminal hemophagocytic syndrome. Recent reports on a subset of peripheral T-cell lymphoma named subcutaneous panniculitis-like T-cell lymphoma (SPTL) raised the question about the relationship between these entities.


We describe 7 patients in the study: 1 with fatal CHP, 4 with SPTL, and 2 with long-term CHP. The 5 patients with fatal CHP and SPTL died of complications of hemophagocytic syndrome, with a disease duration ranging from 8 to 74 months. The other 2 patients were still alive 6 and 41 years after disease onset. Immunohistochemical results proved that 2 of the SPTL cases were type alpha/beta and expressed the cytotoxic/suppressor antigen CD8, while the other 2 were type gamma/delta and were positive for the natural killer-associated antigen CD56. In these 4 cases, molecular biology studies by polymerase chain reaction detected T-cell receptor gamma gene rearrangement, indicating a clonal process. In contrast, in the 2 patients who had long-term CHP, the polymerase chain reaction results failed to disclose clonality. In the subject with fatal CHP, genotypic analysis was not performed.


Our observations suggest that CHP and SPTL may span a clinicopathologic spectrum in which there is a natural disease progression from CHP to SPTL.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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