What is the clinical history of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL)?

Updated: Aug 15, 2018
  • Author: Lauren C Pinter-Brown, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

The skin rash of mycosis fungoides may consist of patches, plaques, or tumors, which may have a long natural history. The median duration from the onset of skin symptoms to diagnosis is 6 years. Early in the course of mycosis fungoides, as well as in erythrodermic cases, the skin lesions may be nonspecific, with a nondiagnostic biopsy result, so that confusion with benign conditions is common (eg, eczema, neurodermatitis, pseudolymphoma syndrome). Obtain repeated biopsies in patients who have progressive chronic dermatosis or whose condition is refractory to topical treatments.

In patients who present with pruritus or erythroderma, the diagnosis of mycosis fungoides is often made possible through the examination of a noncutaneous site (eg, blood, lymph nodes).


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