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Arch Dermatol. 2005 Jul;141(7):834-42.

Histiocytoid Sweet syndrome: a dermal infiltration of immature neutrophilic granulocytes.

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Department of Dermatology, Fundación Jiménez Díaz, Universidad Autónoma, Madrid, Spain.



To describe a series of 41 patients with fresh lesions of Sweet syndrome in which the histopathologic study demonstrated an inflammatory infiltrate mostly composed of histiocytoid mononuclear cells.


Histopathologic, immunohistochemical, and cytogenetic studies of the inflammatory infiltrate in a case series of histiocytoid Sweet syndrome.


University departments of dermatology and a private laboratory of dermatopathology.


Conventional histopathologic study as well as immunohistochemical investigations were performed using the alkaline phosphatase antialkaline phosphatase technique with a large panel of antibodies. In some cases, fluorescent in situ hybridization studies were performed to investigate the presence of the bcr/abl gene fusion.


Immunohistochemical studies demonstrated that most cells of the infiltrate showed immunoreactivity for CD15, CD43, CD45, CD68, MAC-386, HAM56, and lysozyme, which is consistent with a monocytic-histiocytic immunoprofile. However, intense myeloperoxidase reactivity was detected in most of the cells with histiocytic appearance, which raised the possibility of specific cutaneous involvement by myelogenous leukemia. Nevertheless, cytologic peripheral blood examinations, fluorescent in situ hybridization studies to investigate the bcr/abl gene fusion, and follow-up of the patients, taken all together, ruled out this possibility.


This case series demonstrates that some fresh cutaneous lesions of Sweet syndrome are histopathologically characterized by an infiltrate mostly composed of cells that may be misinterpreted as histiocytes, when in fact they are immature myeloid cells. We named this histopathologic variant histiocytoid Sweet syndrome, which should not be mistaken with leukemia cutis or other inflammatory dermatoses that are histopathologically characterized by histiocytes interstitially arranged between collagen bundles of the dermis.

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