Background: Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) is associated with infection with human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I). Objective: The objective was to describe the clinical, histopathologic, and immunologic features in three patients with ATL involving the skin. Methods: Clinical histories and skin biopsy specimens were reviewed. Immunophenotypic studies were performed on peripheral blood lymphocytes (three patients) and on skin biopsy specimens (one patient). Results: Serologic testing in each patient was positive for HTLV-I. Specific cutaneous lesions of ATL were diverse. Histologic features included markedly epidermotropic lymphoid infiltrates and dermal aggregates of lymphocytes and macrophages resembling granulomas. One patient died 3 months after diagnosis; the other two are alive with residual lymphoma. Conclusion: A spectrum of clinical, histologic, and immunophenotypic features are seen in ATL involving skin. Those cases with a chronic course may resemble mycosis fungoides clinically and histologically. Serologic testing for HTLV-I is recommended in all patients with cutaneous lymphoma from endemic areas and in those with other risk factors for HTLV-I infection.
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