Unusual Causes of Haemophagocytic Syndrome
- Fatin Al Sayes
Subcutaneous panniculitic T-cell lymphoma (SPTL) is a rare variant of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma where lymphoma cells infiltrate preferentially into subcutaneous tissue. Five cases of SPTL were seen during the period from 2001-2004 at the Department of Dermatology, Hospital Kuala Lumpur. All five presented with multiple subcutaneous nodules on the face, trunk and limbs of one week to six months duration with associated fever and loss of weight. Physical examination showed multiple tender, erythematous indurated plaques and subcutaneous nodules on their face, trunk and limbs. One patient also presented with unhealing ulcerated nodules. Two patients had hepatosplenomegaly and one hepatomegaly. Two patients had pancytopaenia while the other three had leucopaenia. One patient had deranged liver function. Out of the five patients, three had bone marrow examination with haemophaegocytosis in two and one hypocellular marrow. Skin biopsy of all patients showed infiltration with atypical lymphoid cells in the upper dermis and subcutaneous fat. These neoplastic cells showed positivity for CD3 and CD30 in three patients with CD8, TIA-1 and LCA (Leucocyte common antigen) being positive in one patient. One patient treated with prednisolone and subcutaneous Roferon 3Mu three times a week since 2001 was in remission. Two patients who were planned for chemotherapy had deteriorated rapidly and succumbed to septicaemia from pancytopaenia. Subcutaneous panniculitic T-cell lymphoma has been reported to show two distinct clinical presentations. The first is characterized by an indolent course with good prognosis and the second with rapid clinical deterioration, haemophaegocytosis and death. Both presentations were seen in our five patients seem to demonstrate these two subtypes of SPTL.