Subcutaneous panniculitis-like T-Cell lymphoma: A mixed diagnostic approach to diagnosing a vague clinical picture

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Callie Roberts Hill
Apphia Wang
Boni E. Elewski
Peter G Pavlidakey




Subcutaneous panniculitis-like T-Cell lymphoma (SPTCL) is a rare subtype of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, and it has been associated with a range of clinical symptoms from mild to severe. Most commonly, this disease is described as following a slowly progressing course, associated with vague constitutional symptoms and good prognosis. This case report describes the clinical presentation and findings of SPTCL in a 31 year old female and describes the challenges of recognizing and properly diagnosing this disease. SPTCL has been described as a mimicker of other, more common and nonmalignant diseases of the skin, such as lupus panniculitis. This report highlights a variety of specific tests including immunohistochemical and immunoperoxidase staining, as well as genotypic analysis of T-cell receptors, that were effective in combination in isolating this diagnosis. Moreover, choice of treatment for these patients can be challenging, as an array of interventions have been described in past cases to treat SPTCL. This report recognizes the efficacy of a treatment course that included a six-cycle course of combined chemotherapy (vincristine, doxurubicine, cyclophosphamide, and prednisone, also known as CHOP) followed by weekly methotrexate and PET scan surveillance for two years. With both initial and maintenance therapy, this patient showed excellence response evidenced by a progressive decrease in metabolic activity of malignant lesions, lack of new lesions, and remaining without symptoms. While this disease is rare, it is important to include SPTCL in the differential when considering patients with a panniculitic picture.


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