Background: Sézary syndrome (SS) is defined by the triad of erythroderma, generalized lymphadenopathy and more than 1 000 circulating Sézary cells/μl in the peripheral blood.
Patients and Methods: We screened the cutaneous lymphoma registry of our department for SS patients to identify clinical features of SS besides the defining criteria and to correlate them with disease survival.
Results: 24 SS patients were analyzed retrospectively. The mean age was 65 years with 62 % male patients. The median follow-up time was 32.5 months with an estimated 5-year overall survival rate of 76 %. All patients complained about itching and presented with palmoplantar keratoderma. 62.5 % had nail involvement, 21 % alopecia, 12.5 % ectropion, 4 % prurigo nodularis, 8 % localized and 8 % generalized skin tumors, including leonine facies. In addition, 33 % had infections and also 33 % had venous thromboembolism. We identified cutaneous tumor cell load as a significant prognostic marker for SS. None of the other parameters were associated with disease specific survival.
Conclusions: Clinically SS is characterized by various presentations beyond erythroderma. The cutaneous tumor cell load in SS is strongly associated with outcome and survival. We demonstrate a high risk for venous thromboembolism in SS patients who might benefit from anti-coagulation therapies.