Epidermotropic CD8+ cytotoxic T-cell lymphoma exhibiting a transition from the indolent to the aggressive phase, accompanied by emergence of CD7+ cells and formation of neutrophilic pustules


  • Conflict of interest: none declared.

Dr Yutaka Hatano, Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine, Oita University, 1-1, Idaigaoka, Hasama-machi, Yufu-shi, Oita, 879-5593, Japan
E-mail: hatano@oita-u.ac.jp


A 47-year-old-man presented with rashes on his trunk and limbs, and a diagnosis of parapsoriasis was made. Ten years later, the rashes had progressed gradually to form plaques and tumours. Gene rearrangement studies revealed monoclonality of the T-cell receptor β-chain (TCR-Jβ)1 gene, and results of flow cytometry and immunohistochemical examination confirmed a diagnosis of epidermotropic CD8+ cytotoxic T-cell lymphoma. The clinical course of the disease remained indolent for some time, but about 2 years later, neutrophilic pustules formed on the surface of the skin lesions, and tumours developed in the patient’s testes. Using flow cytometry, emergence of CD7+ cells was found. The patient died the following year of respiratory failure due to brain herniation. On postmortem examination, CD8+ tumour cells were found in the brain. This case demonstrates an unusually protracted indolent phase in a patient with cutaneous aggressive epidermotropic CD8+ cytotoxic T-cell lymphoma; its transition into the aggressive phase was accompanied by emergence of CD7+ cells and formation of neutrophilic pustules.