How are the histologic findings in mycosis fungoides plaques characterized in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL)?

Updated: Apr 20, 2020
  • Author: Lauren C Pinter-Brown, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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In mycosis fungoides plaques, the histologic changes are diagnostic; epidermotropism is generally more pronounced than in mycosis fungoides patches. The presence of intraepidermal collections of atypical cells (Pautrier microabscesses) is a highly characteristic feature observed in only a minority of cases (10%).

In the tumor stage, the dermal infiltrates become more diffuse and epidermotropism may be lost. The tumor cells increase in number and size, demonstrating variable proportions of small, medium, and large cerebriform blast cells with prominent nuclei and intermediate forms. Transformation to a diffuse large cell lymphoma of either CD30- or CD30+ phenotype may occur, portending a poor prognosis. Eosinophils, plasma cells, and histiocytes are frequent companions.

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