Primary Cutaneous Angioimmunoblastic T-cell Lymphoma Histologically Mimicking an Inflammatory Dermatosis

July 2010 | Volume 9 | Issue 7 | Case Reports | 851 | Copyright © July 2010

Erica S. Smithberger MD, Dorna Rezania MD, Rahul N. Chavan MD PhD, Mary H. Lien MD, Hernani D. Cualing MD, Jane L. Messina MD

Angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL) is a systemic lymphoproliferative disease characterized by a polymorphous neoplastic infiltrate involving lymph nodes as well as extranodal locations, including the skin.1 Cutaneous involvement is seen in approximately 50 percent of cases and is usually secondary to systemic disease.1 Patients with cutaneous involvement classically present with a transient morbilliform eruption of the trunk; however, papules, nodules, urticarial plaques and erythroderma have also been reported. In contrast, primary cutaneous AITL is exceedingly rare. The authors report a case of a 79-year-old woman with AITL who presented with primary cutaneous tumors and ulcerated nodules, with no evidence of systemic involvement, hypergammaglobinemia, or B symptoms. Histologically, a subtle lymphoid infiltrate was present, dominated by marked fibrosis and a diffuse infiltrate of neutrophils, eosinophils and plasma cells, mimicking an inflammatory or infectious etiology. This presentation presents a unique diagnostic challenge; careful investigation and strong clinical suspicion must be utilized in order to correctly identify AITL in this setting.