What are the diagnostic considerations in the workup 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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Cutaneous T-cell lymphomas are T-cell proliferative disorders. Primary cutaneous lymphomas require distinction from histologically similar primary nodal ones because their clinical behavior, prognosis, and therapy are often different. In addition, a difference often exists between primary cutaneous and nodal lymphomas in the presence of specific translocations.

At times, disseminated infections such as leishmaniasis, leprosy, South American blastomycosis, coccidioidomycosis, and other deep fungal infections may mimic and require distinction from cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Acne vulgaris, epidermal inclusion cysts, and insect bites may resemble folliculotropic mycosis fungoides.

Granulomatous mycosis fungoides with hypohidrosis may mimic lepromatous leprosy. [73] Other conditions to consider in the differential diagnosis of cutaneous t-cell lymphoma include nonlymphomatous erythroderma and erythema neurolyticum migrans.

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