It is often difficult to make a clinical or histologic diagnosis of erythrodermic mycosis fungoides (MF) and Sezary syndrome (SS). Whereas the histologic parameters for making a diagnosis of MF with well-developed patch and plaque stage lesions are clearly defined, the same criteria appear to be less relevant for diagnosing MF in patients with erythroderma secondary to the disease. In order to better define the histologic features of erythrodermic MF and SS, we studied 28 routine histologic sections of 17 patients with known erythrodermic MF or SS. Sections were reviewed independently by 2 dermatopathologists. Each of 24 parameters was scored semi-quantitatively and the data were compared to data previously reported from a group of 64 patients with limited patch and plaque stage lesions of MF. When compared to biopsies from patients with limited patch/plaque lesions, biopsies taken from erythrodermic patients displayed more parakeratosis (p=0.0492) and acanthosis (p=0.0046), less disproportionate epidermotropism, fewer lymphocytes aligned within the basal layer (p=0.0045), fewer hyperconvoluted cells in the epidermis, more dermal hyperconvoluted cells (p=0.0191), more papillary dermal fibrosis (p=0.0002), more prominent teleangiectasias (p=0.0028) and more mitotic figures. The histologic features of erythrodermic MF and Sezary syndrome are even more subtle than the features of patch and plaque stage MF, thus rendering the histologic diagnosis more difficult.
View details for Web of Science ID A1997XB68100005
View details for PubMedID 9194582