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J Am Acad Dermatol. 1995 Jun;32(6):987-93.

Hypopigmented variant of mycosis fungoides: demography, histopathology, and treatment of seven cases.

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Department of Dermatology, Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, NY 10003, USA.



Hypopigmented macules have been described infrequently as a presenting form of mycosis fungoides (MF).


This study was designed to clarify general characteristics of a hypopigmented MF variant.


Seven new cases were investigated with the use of descriptive epidemiology techniques. Demographic parameters, histopathology, and treatment outcomes were analyzed. These data were combined with those from prior reports to develop a broad composite view of this disease process.


The median ages in our series were 36 years for disease onset and 39 years at biopsy diagnosis. All patients had brown or black skin. Histologic findings consistently showed a lack of epidermal atrophy and moderate to profound exocytosis. Treatment with PUVA induced rapid and complete repigmentation in six of seven patients.


On the basis of our experience and a literature review, the hypopigmented variant of MF occurs in a younger population than typical forms of the disease and affects persons with dark skin almost exclusively. Microscopic features include lack of epidermal atrophy and moderate to extreme epidermotropism of infiltrating mononuclear cells. The treatment of choice appears to be PUVA.

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