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Am J Surg Pathol. 1996 Aug;20(8):1011-23.

Marginal zone lymphoma (low-grade B-cell lymphoma of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue type) of skin and subcutaneous tissue: a study of 15 patients.

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Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston 02114-2698, USA.


Extranodal low-grade B-cell lymphoma of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) type occurs in the gastrointestinal tract, salivary gland, thyroid, orbit, lung, and breast. We report 15 patients with MALT-type lymphomas involving skin and subcutaneous tissue. All patients had tumors with histologic features of low-grade B-cell lymphoma of MALT type, including marginal zone cells (15 of 15 cases), plasmacytic differentiation (10 of 15 cases), Dutcher bodies (three of 15 cases), and reactive germinal centers (10 of 15 cases). All expressed pan B-cell antigens and monotypic immunoglobulin. Seven patients (five women, two men) aged 29 to 86 years (median, 53 years) had primary MALT-type lymphoma of skin (6) or subcutaneous tissue (1). One patient had persistent disease, and four patients had relapses involving skin, subcutaneous tissue, breast, orbit, and lymph node. At last follow-up (11-121 months; median, 36 months), one patient was alive with disease, and six patients had no evidence of disease. Three patients (two women, one man) aged 36 to 67 years (median, 57 years) had concurrent MALT-type lymphoma involving both subcutaneous tissue and extracutaneous sites at primary diagnosis, including lung, breast, orbit, lymph node, and bone marrow. One patient responded to treatment but relapsed with lymphoma of the skin and breast. The other two patients had persistent disease despite treatment. One patient died of disease at 25 months, and, at last follow-up (7 and 46 months), two patients were alive with disease. Five patients (four women and one man) aged 29 to 72 years (median, 63 years) had secondary skin or subcutaneous involvement by MALT-type lymphoma with primary tumors of ocular adnexa (3) or parotid gland (2). All five patients had relapses, which involved skin or subcutaneous tissue, parotid gland, lacrimal gland, breast, and lymph node. At last follow-up (61-137 months), two patients were alive with disease and three were alive with no evidence of disease. Low-grade B-cell lymphomas of MALT type may arise in or secondarily involve the skin and subcutaneous tissue and have a tendency to affect middle-aged to older women. These tumors are characterized by multiple extranodal relapses and are associated with long patient survival. Patients with primary MALT-type lymphoma of skin or subcutaneous tissue without extracutaneous involvement at diagnosis were more likely to experience prolonged disease-free survival than patients with extracutaneous spread at presentation (p < 0.03).

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