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Keywords:

  • atopic dermatitis;
  • cutaneous T-cell lymphoma;
  • mycosis fungoides;
  • Sézary syndrome

Summary

Background  Case reports have suggested a relationship between atopic diatheses and Sézary syndrome, pre-Sézary syndrome or mycosis fungoides. However, Sézary and pre-Sézary syndromes are rare entities, and this association has never been analysed in greater detail for specific subtypes of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL).

Objectives  To evaluate the prevalence of atopy in subjects with Sézary syndrome, pre-Sézary syndrome or mycosis fungoides, and to compare the rates with the reported prevalence of atopy in the general population.

Methods  We retrospectively reviewed the records of 157 patients with the diagnosis of Sézary or pre-Sézary syndrome seen between 1965 and 2000, and 102 patients with the diagnosis of mycosis fungoides evaluated from 1994 to 2000 at Mayo Clinic.

Results  Of 157 subjects with Sézary or pre-Sézary syndrome and 102 subjects with mycosis fungoides, 18 and 12, respectively, were identified as having a history of atopic dermatitis, asthma or allergic rhinitis. The prevalence rates of atopy in Sézary or pre-Sézary syndrome and mycosis fungoides were 11·5% (95% confidence interval 6·9–17·5%) and 11·8% (6·2–19·7%), respectively.

Conclusions  No significant difference exists in the prevalence of atopy in Sézary or pre-Sézary syndrome compared with that in mycosis fungoides (χ2-test, P = 1·00). Furthermore, the rates of atopy in Sézary or pre-Sézary syndrome and mycosis fungoides are not significantly different from the prevalence of atopy in the general population (17–40%). On the basis of these observations, no evidence currently implicates a causal association of CTCL with atopy.