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Abstract

Background  Even though several case studies have reported a relationship between Cutaneous T Cell Lymphoma (CTCL) and atopic diathesis, this association is still controversial. The aim of this study was to investigate the actual presence of atopic status in CTCL patients.

Methods  A total of 78 patients with both clinical and histological features typical of CTCL and 77 control cases from our outpatient dermatology clinic were included in this study. After initial evaluation and staging, all patients were investigated for history of atopic disease, serum total IgE and eosinophil cationic protein concentration (ECP), eosinophil count, serum specific IgE, and skin prick test positivity.

Results  Personal atopy in CTCL group was 23,1% (n = 18) and familial atopy was 9.0% (n = 7) whereas in the control group, these values were 11.7% (n = 9) and 7.8% (n = 6), respectively. There was no statistically significant difference, however, the number of atopic patients were higher in CTCL group than the control group (p = 0.151). Serum total IgE levels were significantly increased in patients with CTCL when compared to control group (p = 0.04). Serum specific IgE panel and prick test positivity between patients and controls were significantly different, respectively (p = 0. 03) (p = 0. 00). Eosinophil counts and ECP levels were not significantly different, respectively (p = 0.10) (p = 0.885). In high stages of CTCL, patients were found to have elevated IgE, ECP levels and eosinophil count. These results were statistically significant (p = 0.011) (p = 0.009) (p = 0.007).

Conclusion  Eventhough the number of patients with atopy in the CTCL group was higher than the control cases, there was no significant different. On the other hand high levels of serum IgE, elevated eosinophil count and specific IgE positivity may be found in CTCL patients with or without atopic disease, especially with high stages.