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Am J Clin Pathol. 1996 Apr;105(4):440-50.

CD30-positive cutaneous large cell lymphomas. A comparative study of clinicopathologic and molecular features of 16 cases.

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Department of Pathology, Centre Hospitalier et Universitaire de Bordeaux, France.


The authors have analyzed and compared the clinicopathologic and molecular features of 16 cases of large cell cutaneous lymphomas expressing CD30 antigen. Three main clinical groups were defined: (1) a group of localized skin disease (7 cases); (2) a group of multicentric skin disease (5 cases); and (3) a group of concomitant skin and extracutaneous disease. Good prognosis was associated with localized skin disease and no history of lymphoma. Interestingly, a majority of Reed Sternberg-like cells was only observed in this group (5 of 6 cases). The two other groups did not show distinctive evolutive nor morphologic features. Southern blot and/or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique showed clonality and a T-cell genotype in respectively 13 of 14 and 12 of 12 analyzed cases. Viral infection of tumoral cells was investigated by PCR, in situ hybridization (ISH) or electron microscopy. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) sequences were detected by PCR and ISH in tumoral cells of cutaneous lesions in one case of skin lymphoma with extracutaneous spreading. No EBV sequence was detected by ISH in the localized lymphomas, whereas HIV particles were visible in tumoral cells in one of these cases. No human T-cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV) tax sequence was amplified by PCR in any case of our series. Our results confirm that CD30-positive cutaneous large cell lymphomas are different clinical and molecular entities. However, a combined clinical and morphologic analysis may help to identify a subset of CD30 cutaneous lymphomas with favorable prognosis.

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