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Dermatology Online Journal

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Epidermotropic CXCR3 positive marginal zone lymphoma: a distinctive clinical histopathological entity potentially originating in the skin; it does not always indicate splenic marginal zone lymphoma


Epidermotropic B cell lymphoma represents a rare form of marginal zone lymphoma presenting as a disseminated skin rash resembling pityriasis rosea. To date there are 8 reported cases. In addition to the widespread nature of the skin rash, there is a proclivity for spleen and bone marrow involvement raising consideration regarding its categorization as a systemic lymphoma. We present an 89-year-old man with epidermotropic B cell lymphoma, who presented with a pityriasis rosea-like skin rash. An initial diagnosis of diffuse large cell B cell lymphoma was made based on the extent of dermal-based large cell infiltration. However, after recognizing the epidermotropic component and the distinctive clinical presentation, a diagnosis of epidermotropic B cell lymphoma was rendered. There was minimal bone marrow involvement based only on flow cytometric analysis, but there was no apparent bone marrow or splenic involvement on routine light microscopic assessment. Remission was = achieved with single agent rituximab chemotherapy and the patient remained symptom free. The neoplastic CD20 positive epidermotropic B lymphocytes expressed CXCR3. Similar to the prior reported cases by the authors, the neoplastic cells expressed CXCR3, a chemokine whose organ and tissue specific ligands could contribute to its relatively indolent clinicalcourse.

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