What are the manifestations of cutaneous T-cell anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL)?

Updated: Aug 15, 2018
  • Author: Lauren C Pinter-Brown, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), the primary cutaneous type, manifests as a solitary nodule or ulcerating tumor (>2 cm) in patients without a history of or concurrent mycosis fungoides or lymphomatoid papulosis and without evidence of extracutaneous disease. Extracutaneous dissemination, mainly to regional nodes, occurs 10% of the time.

The disease is multifocal in skin approximately 30% of the time. CD30-positive (75% or more) membrane staining of the large lymphocytes or large clusters of CD30-positive atypical lymphocytes with pleomorphic or multiple nuclei and nucleoli are seen. Numerous mitotic figures can be observed. Unlike systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma, anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) staining is usually negative.

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