What is the clinical history of Sézary syndrome in 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 combination of erythroderma and leukemia is defined as Sézary syndrome. However, different clinicians use different criteria regarding the number of circulating atypical lymphocytes sufficient to warrant this diagnosis. According to some, the diagnosis is established in an erythrodermic patient if more than 5% of peripheral lymphocytes are atypical. Others use the absolute number of atypical lymphocytes in the peripheral blood (>1000/µL). In obvious cases, some use a quick and easy criterion of greater than 10 CD4+ T cells for every CD8+ T cell.

Lymphadenopathy is usually present, and the skin itself is usually edematous. Other frequently observed changes include palmar and/or plantar hyperkeratosis, alopecia, nail dystrophy, and ectropion. Hepatosplenomegaly may be present. As in other forms of mycosis fungoides, a nonspecific dermatitis and/or pruritus may precede the disease. Transformation of the disease to a more aggressive form is common. It may occur in lymph nodes even as skin lesions are showing improvement or a response to treatment.


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