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Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Volume 57, n° 3
pages 454-462 (septembre 2007)
Doi : 10.1016/j.jaad.2007.01.017

Usefulness of flow cytometry in the diagnosis of mycosis fungoides

Shaheen Oshtory, DO a, Narin Apisarnthanarax, MD a, Anita C. Gilliam, MD, PhD a, Kevin D. Cooper, MD a, Howard J. Meyerson, MD b,
a From the Departments of Dermatology 
b Pathology, and the Ireland Cancer Center of University Hospitals of Cleveland/Case Western Reserve University 

Reprint requests: Howard J. Meyerson, MD, Department of Pathology, Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals of Cleveland, 11100 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44106.

Cleveland, Ohio


The pathologic evaluation of mycosis fungoides (MF) is a challenging area in dermatopathology.


We sought to determine the usefulness of flow cytometry for the diagnosis of MF from skin biopsy specimens.


Skin biopsy specimens from 22 patients with a clinical suggestion for MF were evaluated by 4-color flow cytometry. The results were correlated with the International Society for Cutaneous Lymphoma (ISCL) MF diagnostic score and molecular studies for T-cell receptor gene rearrangement.


A T-cell abnormality by flow cytometry was identified in all 11 patients with diagnostic ISCL scores whereas the 7 patients with either subdiagnostic ISCL scores or reactive histology showed no phenotypic abnormality by flow cytometry. In all, 10 of 11 patients with diagnostic skin biopsy specimens for MF had T-cell receptor gene rearrangements by polymerase chain reaction. Gene rearrangements were not detected in the subdiagnostic group.


Small study size was a limitation.


Flow cytometry of skin biopsy specimens is a sensitive method for detecting abnormalities in MF and should be considered part of the routine workup of patients with a clinical suggestion of MF.

The full text of this article is available in PDF format.

Abbreviations used : CTCL, ISCL, MF, PCR, SS, TCR

 Supported by National Institutes of Health National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) AR 007569-15 (Drs Cooper and Apisarnthanarax), NIAMS Case Skin Disease Research Center P30-AR-39750 (Drs Cooper and Gilliam), and NIAMS RO1 AR 049284 (Dr Gilliam).
Conflicts of interest: None declared.

© 2007  American Academy of Dermatology, Inc.@@#104156@@
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