Letter to the Editor


Mycosis Fungoides Diagnosed with an Initial Sign Resembling Benign Dermatosis on the Upper Eyelids Eun-Hwa Lim, Seul-Ki Lim, Myung Im, Young-Joon Seo, Jeung-Hoon Lee, Young Lee Department of Dermatology, Chungnam National University School of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea

Dear Editor: Mycosis fungoides (MF) is a mature T-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that presents with persistent and slowly progressive skin lesions of varying size and shape1. As the skin lesions of MF are variable, MF can be misdiagnosed 1,2 as a benign dermatological condition . A 21-year-old man presented with a 4-month history of skin lesions on his eyelids. The skin lesions were diffuse erythematous to violet-colored patches on both upper eyelids with multiple 1∼2-mm papules scattered on the patches. Both eyelids were edematous, making the patient look like he had swollen eyes (Fig. 1A). The patient did not complain of symptoms at the lesional area but did complain of feeling weak and lethargic over the last few months. We performed laboratory tests and skin biopsy of his right eyelid, and made a preliminary diagnosis of a heliotrope rash in dermatomyositis. We decided to withhold treatment until the diagnosis was confirmed. Laboratory tests including complete blood count, liver function test, fluorescent antinuclear antibody test (FANA), and creatinine kinase showed no abnormalities. Histopathological examination revealed epidermotropic and diffuse dermal infiltration of atypical lymphocytes with some eosinophils (Fig. 1B, C); the epidermotropic and dermal atypical lymphocytes were positive for CD3 and CD4, and some lymphocytes were positive for CD30 and negative for CD20 Received July 29, 2014, Revised September 4, 2014, Accepted for publication September 11, 2014 Corresponding author: Young Lee, Department of Dermatology, Chungnam National University School of Medicine, 266 Munhwa-ro, Jung-gu, Daejeon 301-747, Korea. Tel: 82-42-280-7706, Fax: 82-42280-7706, E-mail: [email protected] This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

(Fig. 1D∼F). On the second visit, an erythematous papule 5 mm in diameter (Fig. 2A) had developed on the dorsum of the right hand, and there was no improvement in the skin lesions on the eyelids. Skin biopsy of the papule showed similar histopathological findings to those of the eyelids, i.e., epidermotropism and diffuse dermal infiltration of atypical lymphocytes with some eosinophils (Fig. 2B, C). Nested polymerase chain reaction for T-cell receptor-γ gene rearrangement showed monoclonality. Bone marrow biopsy, abdominal pelvic computed tomography-multiplanar reformation, and chest computed tomography showed no internal organ involvement. With this histological and immunophenotypic information, the patient was diagnosed with MF and was treated with chemotherapy and total skin electron beam therapy. MF is the most common type of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma and accounts for half of all primary cutaneous lymphomas1. Clinically, early in the course of MF, the skin lesions may be nonspecific and variable, making the diagnosis 1,2 difficult even for dermatologists . A new variant of MF was recently proposed, in which papular lesions are present in the absence of patches with the presence of histo2 pathologic features of the classic patch/plaque stage . Moreover, advanced MF can infiltrate or metastasiaze to the eye, causing blepharitis and cicatricial ectropion3. Eyelid lesions must be differentiated from many conditions that can produce redness of the eyelids. Eczematous dermatological conditions such as contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, and seborrheic dermatitis commonly involve the eyelids4,5. Allergic contact dermatitis often affects the upper eyelids, while atopic dermatitis causes dermatitis in both the upper and lower eyelids. Seborrheic dermatitis is accompanied by lesions at other sites. Because the present patient had erythema and edema only on the upper eyelids without any subjective symptoms, we made an initial diagnosis of heliotrope rash in dermatomyositis. The diagVol. 27, No. 4, 2015


Letter to the Editor

Fig. 1. (A) Erythematous papules and patches with edematous swelling on the right eyelid. (B, C) Histological specimen showing diffuse dermal infiltration of atypical lymphocytes (H&E; B: ×40, C: ×400). Atypical lymphocytes infiltrating the dermis stained for (D) CD3 and weakly stained for (E) CD4 and (F) CD20 (D∼F: ×40).

nosis of MF should be made carefully on the basis of detailed history taking and physical examination if the skin lesion is persistent without changes in the shape or symptoms after conventional dermatological treatment. The present case illustrates the diversity of the cutaneous manifestations of MF, such as mimicking the heliotrope rash of dermatomyositis or eyelid eczema, and highlights the importance of skin biopsy for correct diagnosis and treatment.

470 Ann Dermatol

ACKNOWLEDGMENT This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2012R1A1A1041389).

Letter to the Editor

Fig. 2. (A) Erythematous nodules on the dorsum of right hand at the second visit. (B, C) Epidermotropism and diffuse dermal infiltration of atypical lymphocytes stained with CD4 (B: CD4, ×40; C: H&E, ×40).

REFERENCES 1. Yamashita T, Abbade LP, Marques ME, Marques SA. Mycosis

3. Leib ML, Lester H, Braunstein RE, Edelson RL. Ocular findings in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Ann Ophthalmol 1991;23:182-186.

fungoides and Sézary syndrome: clinical, histopathological

4. Femia AN, Vleugels RA, Callen JP. Cutaneous derma-

and immunohistochemical review and update. An Bras

tomyositis: an updated review of treatment options and

Dermatol 2012;87:817-828.

internal associations. Am J Clin Dermatol 2013;14:291-313.

2. Noe MH, Drake A, Link BK, Liu V. Papular mycosis

5. Lee JH, Kim TH, Kim SC. Allergic contact dermatitis caused

fungoides: report of two patients, literature review, and

by topical eye drops containing latanoprost. Ann Dermatol

conceptual re-appraisal. J Cutan Pathol 2013;40:714-719.


Vol. 27, No. 4, 2015


Mycosis Fungoides Diagnosed with an Initial Sign Resembling Benign Dermatosis on the Upper Eyelids.

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