What are the types of subcutaneous panniculitis-like T-cell lymphoma?

Updated: Aug 15, 2018
  • Author: Lauren C Pinter-Brown, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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At least 2 groups of subcutaneous panniculitis-like T-cell lymphoma with different histologies, phenotypes, and prognoses can be distinguished. Cases with an alpha/beta-positive T-cell phenotype are usually CD8+, are characterized by recurrent lesions that are restricted to the subcutaneous tissue (with no dermal or epidermal involvement), and tend to run an indolent clinical course. [28, 29]

The WHO-EORTC term subcutaneous panniculitis-like T-cell lymphoma refers only to the alpha/beta type. [1] Although affected patients were treated with chemotherapy or radiation in the past, it appears that patients treated with systemic steroids may remain in good clinical control.

A similar-appearing lymphoma with a gamma/delta phenotype is CD8 and CD56+. Histologically, the infiltration may not be limited to the subcutaneous tissue, and the course may be more aggressive. In the WHO-EORTC classification, this lymphoma is considered to be a different entity and is included in the group of cutaneous gamma/delta-positive lymphomas in a provisional category. [1] Clinically, this lymphoma is more aggressive, with dissemination to mucosal and other extranodal sites. [1, 29, 30, 31, 32]

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