Densitometry of Pautrier's microabscess cells in cutaneous T cell lymphoma

G. Altomare, G. L. Capella, P. D. Pigatto, B. Biondo, A. M. Lavezzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Epidermotropic lymphoid T cell infiltrates are part of a continuous spectrum of lesions ranging from 'benign' parapsoriasis to frank cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL, mycosis fungoides). Either the clinical or histologic differentiation between these entities prove often difficult and the prognosis may be difficult to assess. Patients and Methods. We studied 15 patients, men aged 50 to 81 years, mean ± SD 68 ± 12 years, with patch-plaque CTCL. Sections from punch biopsies from active lesions were stained with Feulgen reagent, coupled with a 'twin' adjacent hematoxylin and eosin (H and E)-stained section and analyzed with a VIDAS Zeiss-Kontron Image Analyzer. At least 50 dermal infiltrating cells and 50 epidermotropic Pautrierian cells per specimen were counted and the biopsies were repeated periodically. Results. Nine patients with aneuploid Pautrierian cell DNA patterns did well after conventional phototherapy (dermal cell ploidy was irrelevant), whereas six patients with euploid Pautrierian cell DNA patterns had to be treated aggressively (IFN + retinoids, COP). Clinical and histopathologic aspects of the first group were comparable to those of the second group. Conclusions. The classical cytophotometric aphorism seems to be reversed in this sample: 'The more abnormal the ploidy of epidermotropic Pautrierian cells, the better the prognosis.' Euploid epidermotropic cell prove more efficient in invading the skin and other areas and this efficiency may be reflected in more aggressive trends in the evolution of the lymphoma. Thus, DSM analysis of epidermotropic cells could prove very useful as an inexpensive tool for routine CTCL grading.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-537
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Journal of Dermatology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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